DAVENPORT, Iowa - Beloit Snappers pitchers combined for 15 strikeouts and limited the Quad Cities River Bandits to three hits in taking the opening game of a series at Modern Woodmen Park, 6-2, on Wednesday night.
Beloit improved to 9-7 against the River Bandits this season and is guaranteed at worst of a split of the season series.
The Snappers (23-28, 50-69) jumped in front 2-0 in the top of the second inning on a couple of two-out hits off of starting pitcher Jonathan Bermudez. Skyler Weber opened the inning with a single and stole second. Bermudez struck out the next two Snappers before Santis Sanchez blasted an RBI double to left center for a 1-0 lead. Nick Ward followed with an RBI double to right center.
Beloit added to its lead in the fourth inning. Weber opened with a walk, again stole second and moved to third on an opposite field single by Lester Madden. With two outs, Joseph Pena grounded a base hit down the right field line to score Weber for a 3-0 advantage. On the play, Madden tried to score and was thrown out.
Beloit starter Reid Birlingmair was originally slotted to piggyback today, as he has done many times this year, but a late decision was made to allow Birlingmair to pitch with the aid of the bullpen instead. Birlingmair allowed one hit through six innings, striking out nine batters. The first hit off him was a two-run home run by Oscar Campos in the fourth to bring the River Bandits within a run.
Beloit bounced back with three runs in the next two innings. Max Schuemann doubled to open the fifth and stole third. Nick Osborne drove him in with an RBI single. After a fielder's choice grounder by Weber moved him into scoring position, Pena lined a single to left to apparently score him. The Bandits appealed, however, and Osborne was called out for missing third base.
In the sixth inning, QC reliever Luis De Paula retired the first two Snappers, but walked the next three to load the bases. Devin Foyle then drove in two with a single to center.
Bermudez took the loss, allowing four runs on 10 hits in five innings. Birlingmair picked up the win after recording a career-high nine strikeouts over six innings. He allowed just one hit, the Campos homer.
The Snappers bullpen was then lights-out to finish the contest providing three innings of support. Brandon Withers threw two inning, allowing one hit with five strikeouts. Calvin Coker allowed a hit and struck out one in his inning of work.
• UP NEXT: The Snappers are set to throw Rafael Kelly Thursday. In his three appearances against Quad Cities he has earned three wins through 17 innings of work and only allowed 3 earned runs. Jose Rivera (5-4, 4.32) will pitch for the Bandits. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.