By WJBC Staff
DAVENPORT, Iowa - The Peoria Chiefs scored early and late to beat the Quad Cities River Bandits 4-2 Sunday afternoon and get back over the .500 mark at 17-16 on the season.
The win gives the Chiefs a chance to win the four game series when the two teams meet in Davenport Monday morning.
The visitors started the scoring in the top of the third against Quad Cities hurler Mike Hauschild. Breyvic Valera reached on an infield single with one out and moved to second on a basehit by Alex Mejia. Mejia was out at second on a fielders’ choice and Valera came home on an error by Bandits first baseman Jesse Wierzbicki.
Quad Cities took the lead against Kyle Helisek in the bottom of the fourth. With one out, Terrell Joyce drew a walk and Rio Ruiz hit a two-strike home run into the left field berm for a 2-1 Bandits lead. The homer was the second overall this season for Ruiz and his second against the Chiefs.
Peoria came right back in the fifth inning against Hauschild. Valera tripled to center field and scored when Mejia followed with his first career triple to nearly the same spot as the two outfielders had trouble picking up the ball. With the game tied the Chiefs couldn’t get Mejia home from third on a strikeout, walk and double play.
The game was still tied 2-2 after six innings as both teams went to the bullpen. The Chiefs struck first against Colton Cain in the top of the seventh. Valera singled to right, his third hit of the game. Mejia dropped a flyball into right field as well and when Jordan Scott and Ariel Ovando collided and fell down, Valera scored the go-ahead run. Mejia ended up at third with his second triple of the game, matching a franchise single-game record. This time the Chiefs brought him home on a sacrifice fly by Jacob Wilson for a 4-2 lead.
Quad Cities threatened in the bottom of the ninth against Chiefs closer Zach Petrick. Carlos Correa singled to left and with one out Joyce drew a walk. Ruiz struck out looking and Brian Blaski grounded into a 6-4 fielders’ choice to end the game.
Helisek (3-1) picked up the win and tied a career high with six innings. He allowed two runs on three hits while walking three and striking out five. Joe Donofrio allowed one hit over two shutout innings and struck out one while also inducing a double play. Petrick earned his fifth save while allowing one hit, walking one and striking out two in one shutout inning.