DAVENPORT, Iowa (Timber Rattlers)- Four Quad Cities River Bandits pitchers combined to shutout the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 3-0 on Thursday night at Modern Woodmen Park to open the 2017 Midwest League season for both teams. The quartet of River Bandits hurlers also rang up fifteen strikeouts in the game.
There wasn’t a lot of offense early as the offenses for both teams struggled to put the ball in play against the starting pitchers – Zack Brown for the Rattlers and Hector Perez for the Bandits.
The Timber Rattlers (0-1) best opportunity to score against Perez came in the fourth inning. Perez retired the first two batters of the inning, but Ronnie Gideon and Mario Feliciano drew consecutive walks to force Perez from the game on his pitch count. He left the game with eight strikeouts.
Quad Cities reliever Abdiel Saldana threw a wild pitch to move Gideon and Feliciano into scoring position, but escaped by getting a popup to end the frame.
Taylor Jones put the River Bandits (1-0) on the scoreboard with a leadoff home run in the bottom of the fourth. Brown got the first out of the inning on a popup, but a single and a walk put two runners on base. Anibal Sierra singled down the third base line to drive in the second run of the inning. A wild pitch allowed the final run of the frame to score. Brown bounced back with back-to-back strikeouts to set a single game high as a professional, but the damage had been done.
Wisconsin got a one out double from Tucker Neuhaus in the sixth against reliever Ryan Hartman, but he was left stranded at third base. In the seventh, Joantgel Segovia singled to start the inning and Demi Orimoloye had a two-out single but both were left stranded as well.
The Rattlers would not threaten to score the remainder of the game. Derick Velazquez pitched a scoreless ninth to close out the game and pick up the save.
Orimoloye paced the Wisconsin offense with two hits.
Wisconsin has lost four straight Opening Day games. Their last Opening Day victory coming in 2013.
Game two of the series at Modern Woodmen Park is set for Friday night. Trey Supak is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Carson LaRue will start for the River Bandits. Game time is 6:35pm.
The Timber Rattlers have their home opener on Saturday against the River Bandits at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 4:05pm.