Bandits Win Opener
DAVENPORT — Taylor Jones's "excited energy" helped the Quad-Cities River Bandits win the season-opener.
Jones, who also homered in the 2016 season-opener, homered in the fourth inning on Thursday in a 3-0 win over the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.
The River Bandits scored all three runs in the fourth inning. Jones led off the inning with a solo shot that landed in the left-field berm area.
"(Rattlers starting pitcher Zack Brown) was throwing me a lot of changeups," Jones said. "I was looking for that fastball, but I kept fouling off the changeups. He got me two strikes, he hung me a changeup, and I got it."
The Bandits' offense fell to six strikeouts without a hit the first time through the lineup off Brown. Then, the Bandits turned it around by going 4-for-7 with two walks that fueled the Bandits' rally.
"The starting pitcher on their team was just doing the right things," Jones said of the first three innings. "His pitches were sharp. A couple swings we had were just nervous energy."
Later in the fourth inning, Anibal Sierra singled on a ground ball to left field. Alexander De Goti scored.
The third run was scored on a wild pitch, and Jake Rogers hustled in from third base to wrap up the scoring.
Quad-Cities' pitching combined to allow just five hits and three walks. The Bandits quartet of Hector Perez, Abdiel Saldana (W, 1-0), Ryan Hartman and Derick Velasquez also struck out 15 Wisconsin batters.
"The pitchers did a good job," Quad-Cities Manager Russ Steinhorn said. "They did a good job of attacking guys, and didn't shy away from them. They didn't panic when they had guys on base."
The Bandits and Timber Rattlers will play again on Friday at 6:35 p.m. at Modern Woodmen Park.