Managers typically aren’t very happy when their players miss signs.
Russ Steinhorn was just fine with it Friday night.
The Quad-Cities River Bandits manager threw up a late stop sign for Jake Rogers from the third-base coaching box, but Rogers blew right through it and raced home to score the winning run in the bottom of the 11th inning, giving the Bandits a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Kane County at Modern Woodmen Park.
“I didn’t even know I had run a stop sign until later,’’ admitted Rogers, who sprinted home on Randy Cesar’s line-drive single to left field. “I just put my head down and ran as hard as I could.’’
The Bandits struggled to mount much of an offense all night against the Cougars, who came into the night leading the Midwest League’s Western Division.
The Bandits hadn’t even had a runner as far as second base since the fourth inning until Rogers led off the 11th by hitting a bouncer to third baseman Luis Basabe. Basabe’s throw sailed high and landed in the tarp behind first base as Rogers trotted into second.
Cesar then delivered the biggest hit of the night, ripping a line drive into the gap between short and third.
“I was looking for that pitch,’’ Cesar said. “They had been throwing me sliders all night. I was ready for it.’’
Steinhorn initially was going to wave Rogers home, then changed his mind when left-fielder Anfernee Grier got to the ball quickly. Rogers just kept on chugging as Grier’s throw sailed high into the netting behind home plate.
“It’s good to win one of these,’’ Steinhorn said. “A couple of the losses we’ve had have been by one run.’’
The late rally was possible because of strong work by three Quad-Cities pitchers. Starter Brett Adcock and relievers Erasmo Pinales and Derick Velasquez combined to strike out 15 hitters. Pinales fanned five straight in one stretch and Adcock whiffed four in a row earlier.
“The relief pitching really was outstanding,’’ Steinhorn said. “Pinales and Velasquez held them right there. That’s Pinales’ longest stint (3 2/3 innings) of the year. They gave us a chance.’’
The River Bandits (now 4-5) had opened a 1-0 lead in the third inning when Rogers’ double into the left-center field alley scored Ronnie Dawson. Kane County answered with a game-tying RBI double by Grier in the fifth.