BELOIT - It was death by long ball Wednesday night at Pohlman Field for the Beloit Snappers.
The Snappers fell twice to the Quad Cities River Bandits, losing the completion of a suspended game, 3-2, and the regularly scheduled contest, 8-2, thanks to the River Bandits' timely home runs.
The first game picked up in the sixth inning after being suspended July 3 with the game tied 1-1. The Bandits used a solo home run off the scoreboard in center field to break a 1-1 tie in the ninth inning. The blast came courtesy of Appleton, Wis. native Scott Schreiber, and when the Snappers went down quietly in the bottom of the ninth, Schreiber's blast ended up being the game-winner.
In game two, the River Bandits had just two hits in the game's first eight innings. Unfortunately for the Snappers, both of them exited the playing field. Schreiber struck again, this time hitting a solo shot that gave Quad Cities a 2-1 lead in the fifth inning. After the Snappers tied the score in the bottom of the frame, Marty Costes cracked a two-run shot to make it 4-2.
In the eighth, the Bandits added some insurance runs in the form of (what else) a home run by Jonathan Lacroix smoked a three-run blast to make it 7-2.
The losses left the Snappers at 26-18 in the second half, still 4 1-2 games ahead of Wisconsin for the final playoff spot with 26 games to play.
Jhenderson Hurtado made his debut in a Beloit uniform, starting the second game. Hurtado's performance in his debut was uneven. He walked five batters in 4 1-3 innings, but allowed just one hit: The solo home run by Schreiber.
Joseph Camacho (0-1) picked up the loss after allowing a pair of runs in one-plus inning on the mound.
Snappers manager Webster Garrison said he didn't mind his pitchers' aggressive approach.
"Those home runs were the difference," Garrison said. "But that's the name of the game. We weren't out there walking guys or making errors in the field. They tried to put their best stuff out there and got beat a few times. I'd rather see them go after guys than sit back and walk everyone because they are afraid to challenge them."
Snappers first baseman Hunter Hargrove said the team just needs to stay the course.
"The first game was kind of a weird one, picking it up in the sixth inning," Hargrove said. "That got us out of our comfort zone, but we still have to execute in that situation and continue to play the right way."
The Snappers began a stretch where they play 15 of their next 18 games at home, a rare opportunity in the Midwest League to settle in and get comfortable.
"We need to get a good feeling about ourselves again," Garrison said. "Definitely home games are nice to have. You get the last at-bat every night, you get the home cooking and all the advantages that come with that. But we've got to play better baseball than we did tonight. That's the key."
• UP NEXT: The Snappers and River Bandits will meet again at 7 p.m. Thursday.