Skip to main contentSkip to main content
You are the owner of this article.
You have permission to edit this article.
topical alert

Bandits smash homer record in rout

  • Updated
  • 0
River Bandits logo (Blue)

He had a little help, but Nick Loftin rewrote the Quad Cities baseball record book Wednesday night.

When Loftin deposited a sixth-inning pitch over left field fence at Modern Woodmen Park, he recorded a franchise record-setting 140th home run of the season for the River Bandits.

The two-run blast was third of four homers in the game for the 62-year-old Quad Cities franchise in a 12-4 rout of South Bend and it left no doubt off the bat in a game which saw the River Bandits score runs in seven of the eight innings they batted in.

Loftin said he got the pitch he was looking for from Cubs reliever Dalton Stambaugh.

“He hung a change-up middle-in. I remembered from my previous at-bats against him that I saw a lot of change-ups so I was looking to make something happen," said Loftin, whose 10th home run of the season was part of his 3-for-5 game at the plate.

It followed a three-run blast by Tyler Tolbert in the third inning and a record-tying solo shot by John Rave in the fourth.

"Homers can change a game with one swing of the bat and this team has had a lot of guys who are capable, going back to Vinnie (Pasquantino) at the start of the year and (Michael) Massey all season," Loftin said.

"It’s a lot of fun to be a part of team that can hit it the way we’ve hit it, and it’s been everybody, not just one or two guys."

The record-setting 140th home run came in the 114th High A Central League game of the season for Quad Cities, which improved to 75-39 with the victory.

Eric Cole added to the new record in the bottom of the eighth inning with a two-out solo homer to right that completed the River Bandits’ scoring.

It helped Quad Cities continue to top the old record of 139 that was established over 138 games in 2017 when a 79-59 team went on to win the River Bandits’ most recent Midwest League championship.

"We thought we’d have a chance to have a pretty good offensive team this season, but I didn’t know about the home run potential," Quad Cities manager Chris Widger said. "I like that we have a bunch of guys with eight, 10, 12 homers. Everybody has contributed."

Wednesday’s game had a familiar look.

Quad Cities has been collecting home runs by the bunch all season, hitting at least one in 70 games and hitting two or more on 37 occasions.

The River Bandits have won 60 times when they have homered this season and 32 times when they have left the park at least twice.

Quad Cities collected 11 hits in the game but also committed three errors, something that concerned Widger.

"There are things that we need to continue to get cleaned up, things that in a close game will not work," he said.

By the time Tolbert belted his first home run since joining the River Bandits last week from low-A Columbia, Quad Cities had already opened a lead the Cubs couldn’t catch.

Tolbert’s home run to left with two outs in the third extended a 4-0 lead the River Bandits had taken with a pair of runs in each of the first two innings.

Quad Cities’ first two runs crossed as Eric Cole reached on a throwing error in the first inning, a margin Loftin doubled when he rattled a two-run, two-out double off the wall in left-center in the second.

After Tolbert extended the lead to 7-0 in the third, Rave’s 14th home run of the season and a run-scoring double by Tolbert in the fifth preceded Loftin’s two-run homer in the sixth.

South Bend used one of three River Bandits errors to score a pair of runs in the fourth and pulled within 8-3 when Jake Slaughter homered in the fifth.

Slaughter’s deep ball to left was the only hit allowed over three innings of work by Quad Cities pitcher Emilio Marquez, who earned his first career win at the high-A level in relief of starter Charlie Neuweiler.


Get the latest baseball news delivered to you!

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

The Quad Cities River Bandits and Cedar Rapids Kernels will take the field honoring teams from the past in their communities in the inaugural MiLB at Field of Dreams Game.

Quad Cities and Cedar Rapids each collected six hits Friday night, but the Kernels bunched three of theirs together to claim a 5-0 Midwest League win in front of a crowd of 4,877 at Modern Woodmen Park.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


News Alerts

Breaking News