(Logo courtesy Peoria Chiefs)
By WJBC Staff
GENEVA – After falling behind early the Peoria Chiefs scored five runs in the seventh inning and two more in the ninth to beat the Kane County Cougars 9-6 on Monday afternoon. The win moves the Chiefs to 8-8 on the season and evens the three game series heading into Tuesday’s finale in Geneva.
The Chiefs grabbed an early lead against Cougars left-hander Michael Heesch in the top of the first. Breyvic Valera led off with a single to right and was sacrificed to second by Alex Mejia. Jacob Wilson drew a walk and with two outs, Patrick Wisdom singled to center to score Valera for the 1-0 Chiefs lead.
Kane County came right back in the bottom of the inning against Kyle Helisek. With one down, Gioskar Amaya and Dan Vogelbach reached on consecutive singles. With two outs, Rock Shoulders walked on a borderline 3-2 pitch to load the bases and Chadd Krist walked to force in the tying run. Former Chief Marco Hernandez double past a diving Jordan Walton in left field to score two runs for a 3-1 Cougars lead.
The Cougars added to their lead in the second. Oliver Zapata led off with a single, stole second and moved to third on a single by Pin-Chieh Chen. Amaya reached on an infield single to third and Zapata score when Carson Kelly’s throw got away from Wisdom at first base. Vogelbach put the Cougars on top 5-1 with a sacrifice fly to center before Helisek recorded back-to-back strikeouts.
Peoria got one run back in the fourth as Wisdom crushed a towering leadoff home run over the deck in left field. The blast, his team-leading fourth of the season, gave Wisdom homers in back-to-back games and cut the Cougars lead to 5-2.
Michael Swinson threw out Hernandez at the plate to end the sixth on a double play and the Chiefs offense roared to life in the seventh against reliever Brian Smith. Charlie Tilson led off with a single and Gerwuins Velazco walked. An error by Jeimer Candelario loaded the bases and Mejia singled home Tilson. With one out Walton got the Chiefs to within a run with a sacrifice fly and Wisdom walked to load the bases. Swinson singled to right to plate two and give the Chiefs a 6-5 lead. Reliever Matt Iannazzo walked Kelly to load the bases and then walked Tilson to force home a run before Velazco flew out to end the five-run inning.
Vogelbach hit a solo home run off Zach Petrick to cut the Chiefs lead to 7-6 in the seventh before the Chiefs added insurance in the ninth. Wisdom led off with a double, his third hit of the game. Swinson beat out a bunt to third and Wisdom scored all the way from second as the Cougars failed to cover the plate. With Swinson on third after a sac bunt by Kelly, Tilson put the Chiefs up 9-6 with a single to center. Dixon Llorens loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth but got Kirst to pop up to Velazco who ended the game with a juggling catch right by the plate.
Helisek took a no-decision allowing five runs, four earned, on seven hits over 5 1/3 innings. He walked a career-high four and struck out three. Petrick (1-0) allowed his first run of the season on two hits over two innings while walking two and striking out one. Llorens earned save number three with 1 2/3 innings in which he walked two and allowed one hit but no runs.