Two games into the new season, Quad-Cities River Bandits manager Russ Steinhorn has no complaints at all about his team’s pitching. None. Zero.
Now if he can just get the offense rolling a little more.
Three Bandits pitchers allowed just one run Friday night but that still was one too many in a 1-0 loss to the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers at Modern Woodmen Park.
Wisconsin’s Monte Harrison ripped a line drive over the left-field fence with two outs in the eighth inning to end 16 scoreless innings against Bandits pitching and the Rattlers managed to wriggle out of a couple of late jams to hold on and win.
But Steinhorn couldn’t helped but be pleased with his team’s moundwork, especially the five scoreless innings put up by starter Carson LaRue.
“They did a good job. They gave us a chance and that’s all you can ask for,’’ he said of his pitchers. “They gave up that one home run but other than that they pitched out of some tough situations. Overall, they did a very, very good job.’’
Unfortunately, so did Wisconsin starting pitcher Trey Supak, who retired the first 17 batters he faced before catcher Chuckie Robinson laced a double into the left-field corner. Supak left the game after walking the next hitter and the Bandits eventually loaded the bases when Stephen Wrenn beat out an infield dribbler.
But reliever Jordan Desguin slipped a called third strike past Ronnie Dawson to end the inning.
“It was just one of those nights,’’ Steinhorn said. “Their starting pitcher was very good. He was throwing his fastball for strikes. He was mixing in his off-speed pitches. He was really, really good …
“I liked the way our guys competed the whole night. They didn’t give in.’’
Once Supak departed, the Bandits mounted scoring threats in the last two innings only to have both punctuated by double plays.
Anibal Sierra and Robinson strung together back-to-back singles in the eighth before Daz Cameron bounced into a double play. Wrenn singled and Taylor Jones walked in the ninth only to have Randy Cesar’s searing line drive be snared by third baseman Jose Cuas, who doubled Wrenn off second base, ending the game.
“The pitch before that, (Cesar) took a swing and I think if that was one inch lower he would have put it out over the scoreboard,’’ Wrenn said. “He looked comfortable that whole at-bat.''
Wrenn said he expects the offense to bust loose very soon.
“Hitting’s contagious,’’ he added. “Once it starts, it doesn’t stop really … I think that’s just baseball.’’