Peoria, IL– The Peoria Chiefs came from behind to tie the game twice before walking it off in the 11th inning 3-2 over the Beloit Snappers in the series finale on Thursday night. The Chiefs improved to 37-30 overall to move into a three-way tie for first place in the Western Division with three games remaining in the first half.
The Snappers broke the scoreless tie in the top of the sixth against Chiefs starter Alex Fagalde. Hunter Hargrove led off with a single up the middle and Ryan Gridley reached on a bunt single down the third baseline to put two runners on. Hargrove and Gridley both advanced 90 feet on a passed ball as Mickey McDonald scored Hargrove on a single to left for a 1-0 lead.
Peoria tied it up in the bottom of the eighth against reliever Jesus Zambrano. JR Davis hit a leadoff single to left and Jose Martinez delivered a two-out double to left center as Davis scored to tie the game 1-1.
The game went into extra innings and the Snappers struck with two outs in the top of the tenth against reliever Bryan Dobzanski. Hargrove was the automatic runner at second base and Ryan Gridley moved him to third on a sacrifice bunt. Trace Loehr punched a two-out double down the third base line to score Hargrove for a 2-1 advantage.
The Chiefs wasted no time to answer in the bottom of the tenth. On the first pitch of the inning, Julio Rodriguez brought in the automatic runner Yariel Gonzalez with a single to left to bring the score even 2-2.
Beloit threatened by putting two runners on in the top of the 11th inning after a Logan Farrar leadoff walk. With one down, Jordan Devencenzi flew out to Bryce Denton in the right field corner and he threw out Farrar trying to advance to second to end the inning.
With the momentum behind them, the Chiefs walked off the Snappers in the bottom of the 11th against reliever Nick Highberger. Martinez was the automatic runner at second and Scott Hurst moved him to third on a groundout. Irving Lopez lined a single up the middle to score Martinez for the 3-2 walk-off victory.
Fagalde took a no-decision throwing six innings allowing one run on seven hits with six strikeouts. Fabian Blanco pitched two scoreless innings without surrendering a hit with one walk and one strikeout. Andrew Summerville pitched one scoreless inning on one hit with two walks and no strikeouts. Dobzanski (5-2) earned the win pitching two innings without allowing an earned run on one hit with one walk and one strikeout.
Notes… The Chiefs are tied for first with Clinton and Quad Cities while the other five teams have been eliminated… Peoria is 6-2 in extra-inning games…Peoria has seven walk-off wins this season and 12 last at-bat wins…The Chiefs turned a double play in each of the first three innings and turned a season high six double plays…Peoria is 13-9 in one-run games…Hurst has a six-game hit streak…Rodriguez has a seven-game hit streak…Montero had his six-game hit streak snap…Dobzanski leads the Chiefs with 21 appearances…The Chiefs travel to Cedar Rapids for a three-game series starting Friday at 6:35 p.m. to close out the first half…The Chiefs will start RH Evan Guillory (6-4, 3.11) against Cedar Rapids RH RH Bryan Sammons (2-4, 4.89)…The broadcast can be heard, starting with the Pre-Game Show at 6:20 p.m. on www.peoriachiefs.com/listenlive and is also available on the Peoria Chiefs Network on the Tune-In Radio App.