Peoria, IL – The Peoria Chiefs completed the comeback to defeat the West Michigan Whitecaps 5-4 in extra innings on Tuesday night. The Chiefs improve to 11-11 overall on the season and play host to the Whitecaps tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. in the second game of a three-game series.
The Whitecaps got off to a hot start in the top of the first inning against Chiefs starting pitcher Jake Walsh. After the first batter of the game was retired, Luke Burch reached on an infield single and Garrett McCain lined a single to left. Jordan Pearce drew a walk to load the bases for Reynaldo Rivera who drove in Burch and McCain on a long single off the left field wall. Up 2-0, the Whitecaps added on to their lead when Colby Bortles punched a single up the middle to score Pearce for a 3-0 West Michigan lead. Levi MaVorhis took over for Walsh and got out of the inning with the Chiefs down three.
The Chiefs picked up their first hit and first run of the game in the bottom of the fourth against West Michigan starter Garett King. Scott Hurst sent a solo shot over the left center field wall for his first homer of the season to cut the Whitecaps lead to 3-1. Irving Lopez singled up the middle and Juan Yepez doubled off of the wall in left putting two runners in scoring position with two outs. Bryce Denton scored Lopez on an infield single up the middle trimming the West Michigan lead to 3-2.
Peoria tied the game against King in the bottom of the sixth. With one out, Yepez looped a single to left field and Dennis Ortega drew a walk with two outs to bring up Jonatan Machado. While Machado was batting, King threw a wild pitch and Whitecaps catcher Joey Morgan threw the ball into left field allowing Yepez to score the tying run.
The score remained 3-3 until the top of the tenth inning against Chiefs reliever Kodi Whitley. With one out, Jordan Pearce singled and he was brought around on a double to left center by Rivera as the Whitecaps took a 4-3 lead.
The lead did not last long for West Michigan reliever Burris Warner. Edwin Figuera was the extra runner at second base and he came around to score on a one-out double by Lopez. Nick Plummer pinch-ran for Lopez and Yariel Gonzalez delivered the walk off single to left field for the 5-4 win.
Walsh allowed three runs on four hits in 2/3 of an inning. He walked one and struck out one. Levi MaVorhis allowed one hit over 3 2/3 innings with one walk and one strikeout. Noel Gonzalez pitched 1 1/3 innings without surrendering a run or a hit. He walked three and struck out one. Whitley (2-0) earned the win with a season-high 4 1/3 innings as he allowed one run on four hits and struck out three.
Notes… Yepez has reached base in 15 straight games…He has 12 multi-hit games already this season…Lopez has four doubles in his last three games…The win was the Chiefs first extra-inning win with the new runner at second base rule…The Chiefs are 4-4 in one run games…Peoria has won seven in a row at home…The Chiefs have three walk offs in 2018…The series continues at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday with RH Johan Oviedo (1-1, 6.35) against RH Elvin Rodriguez (1-1, 5.93)…Wednesday is Bang for the Buck day with $1 hot dogs, nachos and popcorn…Wednesday is an Ameren Illinois Education Day…The broadcast can be heard, starting with the Pre-Game Show at 10:45 a.m. on www.peoriachiefs.com/listenlive and is also available on the Peoria Chiefs Network in the Tune-In Radio App…The game is also available on MiLB.tv for subscribers.