The River Bandits (49-37 overall, 9-8 second half) scored in the bottom of the first inning. Quad Cities had runners on first and third with one two outs when Wisconsin starting pitcher Jimmy Nelson walked two consecutive batters. The first walk - to Michael Swinson - loaded the bases. The second walk - to Geoff Klein - forced in a run for a 1-0 lead.
The Rattlers (46-41, 8-9) answered in the top of the third inning. Jason Rogers drew a leadoff walk. One out later Cody Hawn extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a single to put runners on first and third. Hopkins launched a 1-1 pitch from Boone Whiting over the wall in left for a three-run homer and a 3-1 Rattlers lead.
The River Bandits tied the game in the bottom of the fourth. Kelton Wong doubled in the run to make it 3-2. Later in the inning, Wong scored on a sacrifice fly by Oscar Tavares to tie the game 3-3.
Quad Cities had runners at first and third with no outs in the bottom of the fifth. Chris Edmondson sent a high fly to medium right-center field. Chad Stang made the catch and threw out the go ahead run at the plate.
The Rattlers bats came out of hibernation in the eighth inning. After Hopkins hit his home run in the second inning, River Bandits pitchers retired the next 18 Wisconsin batters. Joey Paciorek tripled with one out in the eighth. Mike Brownstein chopped a single over the drawn in infield to send Paciorek home.
Nick Shaw singled to right on a hit-and-run and Brownstein made it to third. River Bandits right fielder Oscar Tavares bobbled the ball as he tried to make a throw to third. Then, he flipped the ball casually to the cutoff man. Brownstein took off for home on the lob. Brownstein scored on the play and the Rattlers were up 5-3.
But the Rattlers could not hold the lead in the bottom of the eighth. Brian Garman, who was in his third inning of relief, got the first out. Then, a walk and a double put the tying runs in scoring position. Rattlers closer Greg Holle entered the game and got the second out.
Then, Jonathan Rodriguez pinch hit for Tavares. He lined a pitch from Holle off the wall in left for a two-run single to even the game 5-5.
Quad Cities loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the eleventh inning on a leadoff single, a stolen base, a walk, a ground out, and an intentional walk.
Klein, who drove in the first run of the game, drove in the winning run with a sacrifice fly to left to give the Bandits a 6-5 win.
The final game of the series at Modern Woodmen Park is Monday night. Del Howell (1-4, 5.13) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Rattlers. The River Bandits have Anthony Ferrara (7-4, 3.21) is scheduled to start. Game time is 7:00pm. Tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:40pm.
Greg Hopkins (4th, 2 on in 2nd inning, off Boone Whiting, 1 out)
WP: Dean Kiekhefer (2-1)
LP: Eric Marzec (3-2)