The Peoria Chiefs rallied for two runs in the seventh inning on Wednesday night to defeat the Beloit Snappers, 3-2 in the series opener. Peoria improves to 5-8 in the second half and 38-45 overall this season.
Neither team found success early on in the game and both starting pitchers took a scoreless draw through four and a half innings. After Beloit left two runners on in the opening frame, Snappers’ righty A.J. Achter retired the first eight Peoria hitters before Arismendy Alcantara singled in the third. The Chiefs’ defense also contributed as shortstop Elliot Soto made a pair of nice plays in the first and fourth to keep the game even.
Beloit’s biggest threat came in the top of the fifth when Tyler Grimes reached on a throwing error by Greg Rohan at third. Grimes made it third with two outs, but Chiefs’ left-hander Eric Jokisch struck out Andrew Leer to end the inning.
Peoria broke through in the bottom of the fifth and took its first lead of the game with Achter on the hill. Micah Gibbs lined a leadoff single into right, moved to second on Soto’s sac bunt and traveled to third on a wild pitch. With one out, Anthony Giansanti lifted a sac fly into right that allowed Gibbs to score for a 1-0 lead.
Following a scoreless sixth, Beloit responded in the seventh to take its first lead of the game against Chiefs’ reliever Yohan Gonzalez. Slugger Michael Gonzales led off with a solo home run to right that bounced onto Adams Street for a 1-1 ballgame. After two strikeouts, Lance Ray extended the inning with a double into the right-center field power alley. Chiefs’ centerfielder Matt Szczur retrieved the ball in the gap, but his throw back to the infield missed the cutoff man and allowed Ray to score for a 2-1 lead.
The Chiefs answered in their half of the seventh and scored the game-winning run against Snappers’ reliever Jose Gonzalez. Micah Gibbs was hit with a pitch to begin the inning, moved to second on Soto’s second sac bunt and advanced to third on when Giansanti grounded out. With two gone, Alcantara evened the game with a RBI single. He stole second base and traveled to third on a throwing error by Snappers’ catcher Tobias Streich. On a 3-2 pitch, Szczur put Peoria ahead with a RBI single into left that scored Alcantara for the final run of the contest.
Jokisch allowed just three hits in six innings of a no decision. He did not allow a walk and struck out four hitters in his third start of the year. Gonzalez (2-3) earned the win after a blown save with two innings of work. He gave up two runs, one earned, on two hits and also struck out three batters. Brent Ebinger pitched the final frame and earned his first career save. He retired the only three hitters he faced with one strikeout.
Article courtesy Peoria Chiefs