As 6-foot-4, 230-pound David Medina settled into the batter’s box to open the bottom of the ninth inning Friday night at Modern Woodmen Park, nobody was thinking bunt.
Not Wisconsin. Not Quad-Cities manager Luis Aguayo. Not his River Bandits teammates, or even the crowd of 4,851.
Medina, however, had has own plan.
He laid a drag bunt down the third-base line and sparked Quad-Cities to its second walk-off win in an ongoing three-game Midwest League win streak, a 3-2 victory over the Timber Rattlers, who had their seven-game winning streak snapped.
“I needed to get on base. I needed to make something happen,” Medina said. “Before going to the plate, I told myself if the third baseman was back, I was going to bunt.”
Then, Medina put those thoughts into action.
“He surprised everybody, maybe even himself,” Aguayo said. “He did a great job of executing the fundamentals we work on every day.”
Medina reached first, where pinch-runner Virgil Hill stood when the next Bandits’ batter, 6-2, 230-pound Roberto De La Cruz, followed with a sacrifice bunt that had Timber Rattlers’ third baseman Brandon Macias on the run.
Macias’ hurried throw to first sailed beyond the bag, and Hill didn’t stop running until he slid across home plate with the winning run.
“I had just gotten around second when I saw that ball get past first, and from that point on, I was off to the races,” Hill said. “It was unbelievable finish, two of the biggest guys on the team getting the bunts down and winning like that. Medina’s bunt, that was great baseball, doing whatever it took to win.”
The run broke a 2-2 tie that had stood since Anthony Garcia collected the River Bandits’ first hit of the game, a two-run homer in the fourth.
River Bandits relievers Ricky Martinez and Travis Miller gave up just two hits over the final three innings and Miller, who earned the win in Wednesday’s walk-off victory over Kane County, stranded Timber Rattlers on the corners in the top of the ninth.