MWL Quarterfinals – Game 2 Notes
The LumberKings opened the 2011 Midwest League Playoffs at home with a 9-5 loss to the Quad Cities River Bandits last night. Bandits’ first-baseman Jonathan Rodriguez went 2-for-3 with five RBI on the night including a three-run homer in the first inning off left-hander Tony Butler that ensured Quad Cities would never trail. Oscar Taveras drove home two more runs as part of a three-run second inning, giving the Bandits a 6-0 lead. Mike McGee doubled home Anthony Phillips in the third (listen: McGee RBI double 9.7.11) and John Hicks blasted a two-run homer down the left-field line in the sixth (listen: Hicks 2-R HR (#1) 9.7.11) to cut the deficit to 6-3 and chase right-hander Boone Whiting from the game. RBI from Hicks and Julio Morban brought the Kings to within two runs in the bottom of the seventh, but Mickey Wiswall missed out on a golden opportunity with the bases full and one out. Bandits’ right-hander Aidan Lucas got Wiswall to bounce back to the mound, then turned a 1-2-3 double play to end the threat. Right-hander Tyler Burgoon surrendered an RBI single to Taveras and RBI double to Rodriguez in the top of the ninth, and Clinton couldn’t touch left-hander Dean Kiekhefer in the final at-bat.
Thus, Eddie Menchaca’s LumberKings are down 1-0 in the best-of-three series as things shift to Modern Woodmen Park. The Davenport, IA home of the Bandits wasn’t kind to the Kings this season as Quad Cities won seven of the nine meetings, but the only path to the West Division Championship Series is back-to-back road wins. Fortunately, left-hander Anthony Fernandez has excelled in road parks this year, going 5-0 with a 1.91 ERA in 11 games, 10 starts. He’ll earn the pivotal Game 2 start tonight, while the Bandits counter with left-hander Anthony Ferrara (13-7, 3.03).
Tonight’s Game Notes: 9.8.11 kingsnotes _quarterfinals.gametwo_
A bonus note that is encouraging for the Kings tonight…Clinton went 0-6 in the opening games of playoff series from ’07-’10, but followed up with wins in Game 2 four times in that span, winning three of the six series. Last year, the Kings went 5-1 in elimination games in the playoffs, including back-to-back road wins at Cedar Rapids in the West Division Quarterfinals. Meanwhile, Quad Cities held a 1-0 lead on Kane County returning home last year, but were eliminated with two-straight home losses to the Cougars. Will history repeat itself? Listen to the broadcast at 7:00 PM on 1390kcln.com to find out.