When you hold your opponent to four runs in three games, it’s a pretty good bet that your team has done well. That was exactly the case as the Quad Cities River Bandits beat the South Bend Silver Hawks 4-2 Saturday to become Midwest League Champions. In their first season as the Houston Astros’ Single A affiliate, the Bandits had the third best overall league record followed by a dominant postseason which saw them drop only one game out of eight on their way to the title.
In the championship round, the starting trio of Chris Devenski, Joe Bircher and Josh Hader combined for 19 innings and only two runs allowed. Hader’s performance in the clincher was particularly dominant as the lefty struck out eight in seven innings while giving up only three hits and one walk. On the hitting side, third baseman Rio Ruiz had a nice series batting .400 (4-10) which included a solo home run in Game 3. Second baseman Anthony Kemp was the top hitter throughout the playoffs batting at a .375 clip.
In the long, rich history of Quad Cities baseball which dates back to 1901, this represents the franchise’s tenth league championship. After going without a title for two decades, it is their second in three seasons.
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