MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL: Quick start, good tee shot, carry the bandits past Peoria | Professional Baseball

Peyton Wilson and Dillon Shrum started the Quad Cities River Bandits offense on the right foot Thursday night.

Quad Cities starter William Fleming and four relievers did the rest as the Bandits earned a 6-2 Class A Midwest League victory over the Peoria Chiefs at scenic Modern Woodmen Park.

Wilson and Shrum homered in the first inning to give the Bandits a 4-0 lead and the Chiefs had no answer as they were held scoreless until the eighth. Peoria (26-37, 54-75) had just five hits in the competition — four singles and an RBI double in the ninth.

Fleming was really good in his 11th start as he improved to 3-4. The right-hander allowed just two hits in six innings while walking one and striking out three.

“It was definitely one of my best outings,” Fleming said after the Bandits improved to 27-36, 53-75. “I think my infield played very well, in particular. I tried to locate my two seams and let weak contact occur from there.

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Fleming drew two groundouts to open the game in a 1-2-3 opening.

QC’s attack then went to work at the bottom of the frame.

Wilson fired an 0-1 fastball deep into right field where he played Plinko over the Barrel House Party Deck umbrellas and gave the River Bandits a 1-0 lead. It was his 13th of the season.

An error and a walk later, Shrum ripped up his 14th homer of the season when he fired a shot off the berm over the left field wall.

Then it was back to Fleming.

“It makes me want to attack the zone even more,” Fleming said of being given an early lead. “The second set is the most important for me after we scored four. I’m trying to get the quick stop round so we can get more runs.

QC manager Brooks Conrad enjoyed the early attacking fireworks as well as Fleming’s effort.

“They came out with a bang,” he said. “The first circuit was huge; Wilson continues to really swing the bat exceptionally in the second half of the year. … Shrum gets the three-run homer – that was obviously a good start.

The QC skipper also likes what he saw from Fleming.

“He’s had a few tough times, but he’s shown some really good flashes since we brought him into this business,” said Conrad of Fleming, who was acquired from Seattle in June as part of the deal with Carlos Santana. “There is a very bright future for this kid.”

QC added to the lead in sixth. With one out, Shrum was hit by a pitch. Jack Alexander followed with a solid single that left the runners in first and third. Saul Garza then curled a medium-deep fly ball down the right field line that fell just fair, driving Shrum and leaving runners in the corners.

Cam Williams then drew a walk with the ball four being a wild throw to the backstop which allowed Alexander to score.

“Those two points in the sixth ended up being pretty big,” said Conrad, whose side struggled in the ninth but still escaped with the win.

Peoria missed a run in the eighth thanks to a throwing error from Patrick Halligan, who had to leave the game after that play as he was hit by a pitched ball. Conrad said he was shot in the mouth and had to leave the game as he was bleeding and needed treatment.

Peoria added a point in the ninth when Caden Monke struggled with his control. Two walks and two hits, including an RBI brace from No. 8 hitter Patrick Romeri, left the Chiefs with the tying run at home plate.

Anderson Paulino got the call with one out and the bases loaded in the ninth with the top of the Chiefs’ order ahead. He came out of the jam and recorded his second save by taking out leading player Todd Lott and having Noah Medlinger fly out to left fielder Darryl Collins.

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