WMBD/WYZZ-TV STAFF - PEORIA, IL - The Peoria Chiefs defeated the Bowling Green Hot Rods 8-3 Monday afternoon to clinch the series win, their second in-a-row. The win puts the Chiefs at 10-14 in the second half, 44-48 overall, as they head into an off-day before opening a three-game series at West Michigan Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. Central Time.
The Chiefs suffered a scare in the top of the first. On the very first pitch of the ballgame, Ryan Brett lined a single off the foot of Starling Peralta. After a visit from athletic trainer Shane Nelson, and a few warmup pitches, Peralta remained in the game and bounced back to strike out Jake Hager before getting back-to-back groundouts to end the frame.
The Chiefs got on the board first in the bottom of the second against Trevor Shull. Paul Hoilman doubled to start the frame and an out later was joined on the bases by Chadd Krist who walked. With one out, Yasiel Balaguert drove home Hoilman with a single to center giving Peoria an early 1-0 lead.
The Chiefs tight-roped out of danger in the top of the third. Matt Rice led off with a single before moving to second on a walk by Juniel Querecuto. Two outs later, Cameron Seitzer singled to left but Balaguert came up throwing to nab Rice trying to score from second to keep the score 1-0.
The Chiefs added to their lead in the bottom of the fifth. After Oliver Zapata reached on a bunt single and was thrown out trying to steal second, Zeke DeVoss tripled to right. Pin-Chieh Chen scored DeVoss with a single to right to make it 2-0. After Chen stole second, Dustin Geiger walked to put two on for Hoilman. With one double already, Hoilman smacked his second of the game to left scoring Chen. Javier Baez hit a sac fly to center to score Geiger to give the Chiefs a 4-0 advantage.
The Hot Rods got on the board in the top of the sixth against the rehabbing Justin Berg. With two outs, Drew Vettleson singled and advanced to second on a balk. Joshua Sale singled to center scoring Vettleson and cutting the Chiefs lead to 4-1.
The Chiefs added to their lead again in the bottom of the seventh. Chen singled to start the inning before advancing to second on a balk by Jacob Partridge. An out later, Chen put himself on third with his 23rd stolen base of the season. Partridge intentionally walked Hoilman and Baez singled home Chen to make it 5-1. Krist doubled to left scoring Hoilman and extending Peoria's lead to 6-1.
The Chiefs continued scoring in the bottom of the eighth with a two-out rally. Chen got the rally started with single before Geiger doubled to left putting two in scoring position. Hoilman drove in two with a single to left giving the Chiefs an 8-1 advantage.
Bowling Green made an effort for a comeback in the top of the ninth against Hunter Cervenka. With one out, Rice walked and Querecuto followed with an infield single before Ryan Brett walked to load the bases. Hager made it 8-3 with a single to right scoring Rice and Querecuto. That was as close as they would get, as Cervenka bounced back to get Seitzer to bounce in to a game-ending double play.
Peralta (3-4) threw five scoreless innings, allowing five hits and three walks, while striking out five. Berg tossed 2 2/3 innings, allowing one run on two hits and a walk, while striking out a pair. Cervenka allowed two runs on two hits, two walks and struck out a pair over 1 1/3 innings.