Davenport, IA – The Peoria Chiefs dropped game one of the doubleheader on Saturday 12-0 to the Quad Cities River Bandits. In game two, the Chiefs plated five runs all in the eighth inning to top the River Bandits in extra innings 5-1 for doubleheader split. The Chiefs are now 25-22 with game four of the series scheduled for Sunday at 5:15 p.m.
The River Bandits blew game one open in the bottom of the first inning on Chiefs starter Paul Balestrieri. Jonathan Arauz reached on an infield single with out and Corey Julks singled to center to move Arauz to third as Julks pulled into second on the throw to third. Miguelangel Sierra doubled to score Arauz and Julks for a 2-0 lead. Jake Adams singled to put runners at the corners and Michael Papierski poked a single to left field for a 3-0 advantage. Colton Shaver walked to load the bases and Bryan De La Cruz cleared them on a double to the left center field gap as the River Bandits moved ahead 6-0.
With Levi MaVorhis on the mound in the bottom of the second, Quad Cities did not let up. Arauz led off with a single but was thrown out at third on a Julks single to right. Julks moved to second on the throw to third and Sierra launched a two-run homer over the left field fence as the deficit grew to 8-0.
Quad Cities kept piling on in the bottom of the third. De La Cruz drew a one-out walk and Jonathan Lacroix doubled to right to put two runners in scoring position. Jake Meyers punched a single to right field bringing in De La Cruz for a 9-0 lead. Arauz scored Lacroix and Meyers on a base hit to right field but was thrown at second as the River Bandits went up 11-0.
Reliever CJ Saylor struck out back-to-back batters in the bottom of the sixth before the River Bandits added another run. Sierra singled to extend the inning and Adams drove him in on a double off of the left field wall for 12-0 score that would be the final.
Balestrieri (1-2) took the loss throwing 2/3 of an inning six runs on six hits with one walk and one strikeout. MaVorhis tossed 3 1/3 innings allowing five runs on six hits with one walk and one strikeout. Saylor threw the remaining two innings allowing one run on three hits with one walk and four strikeouts.
Game two went into extra innings still scoreless before the Chiefs broke through against reliever Luis Garcia. Elehuris Montero was the automatic runner at second base as Zach Kirtley drew a walk and Dennis Ortega singled to load the bases with nobody out. Nick Plummer was hit by a pitch to break the scoreless tie as Montero crossed home plate. Up 1-0, Matt Fiedler singled to score Kirtley and Jose Martinez brought in Ortega on a groundout for a 3-0 lead. With Plummer and Fiedler in scoring position, Scott Hurst delivered a sacrifice fly to right field to score Plummer. One more run came in with the eighth inning rally on an Irving Lopez single to right for a commanding 5-0 advantage.
The River Bandits pushed across a run on reliever Bryan Dobzanski in the bottom of the eighth but it was too late. With one down, the automatic runner Shaver advanced to third on a groundout and he later scored on a wild pitch for the only Quad Cities run of game two.
Kodi Whitley received a no-decision throwing 3 1/3 scoreless innings allowing two hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Thomas St. Clair tossed 3 1/3 scoreless and hitless innings with three strikeouts as he set down every batter he faced out of the bullpen. Dobzanski (3-1) earned the win throwing 1 1/3 innings with a run that was unearned on no hits while striking out one and walking one.
Notes… The Chiefs are 3-1 in doubleheaders this season… Peoria was shutout for the third time this season… Balestrieri made the shortest start of his career… The six hits in the first inning of game one ties the most allowed in one inning this season… Eight River Bandits players recorded hits in game one… The Chiefs are 11-15 when the opponent scores first… The Chiefs have been outscored 44-22 in the first inning this season…Whitley made his first career professional start…Peoria is 4-2 in extra inning games and 4-1 when tied entering the ninth inning… The series continues Sunday at 5:15 p.m. as the Chiefs start RH Alvaro Seijas (1-2, 4.93) against River Bandits LH Parker Mushinski (1-0, 1.34)… The broadcast can be heard, starting with the Pre-Game Show at 5:00 p.m. on www.peoriachiefs.com/listenlive and is also available on the Peoria Chiefs Network on the Tune-In Radio App.