River Bandits sweep Midwest League championship

River Bandits sweep Midwest League championship

Quad Cities led from start to finish as the River Bandits completed the sweep and cruised to a Midwest League title with a 12-2 win over Fort Wayne on Saturday night.

Quad Cities, the Class A affiliate of the Houston Astros, jumped out to an early lead by striking for a trio of runs in the first inning before blowing the game open with six runs in the second to clinch the franchise's seventh Midwest League title and first since 2013.

Padres No. 5 prospect Adrian Morejon (No. 73 overall) got the start for Fort Wayne, but he didn't have his best stuff and was lifted after just 1 2/3 innings. Morejon, who posted a 3.86 ERA across 13 starts during the regular season, gave up six runs on five hits in what was his shortest outing of the year.

Quad Cities' offense wasted no time getting started as the first five batters of the game reached base, including Troy Sieber, who got the scoring underway with a two-run double.

While Sieber got things started, it was Chuckie Robinson who led the offensive assault. Robinson, a 21st-round pick from the 2016 Draft, set a career high with four hits as he went 4-for-5 with three RBIs and four runs scored, including a two-run homer in the fifth.

As impressive as Robinson and the offense were, right-hander Ronel Blanco was just as dominant on the mound. Blanco, who posted a 3.38 ERA across two levels this season, fired 64 of his 93 pitches for strikes as he gave up just four hits and set a career high with 10 strikeouts across 6 2/3 scoreless innings.

Box score

Thanks to a strong second half, during which the team went 42-28, Quad Cities finished the regular season with a 79-59 record, the best in the Midwest League Western division.

From there, the River Bandits worked their way through the playoffs with series wins over Peoria, Cedar Rapids and ultimately Fort Wayne.

William Boor is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.