PEORIA, IL- Kenny Peoples-Walls homered and Mason Katz hit a three-run triple to cap a 5-3 comeback win for the Peoria Chiefs over the Kane County Cougars in front of 5,721 fans, the second-largest crowd of the season, on Saturday night. The Chiefs record is 30-25 and they remain in second place with a one-game wild card lead.
Kane County scored a pair of runs in the first inning against Chiefs starter Jimmy Reed. Jacob Hannemann led off with a double and moved to third on a single. A ground ball to third baseman Michael Schulze went through his legs to score Hannemann. Former Chief Yasiel Balaguert singled to load the bases and after a strikeout, Cael Brockmeyer was hit by a pitch to force in the second run, which was unearned. In the second inning the Cougars got a leadoff homerun from Carlos Penalver for a 3-0 lead.
Peoples-Walls cut the deficit to one in the seventh by launching his second home run of the season, a two-run shot to left. After the next two batters were retired, Richy Pedroza doubled to left but CJ McElroy Jr. grounded out to end the inning.
The Chiefs loaded the bases with one out in the eighth. Vaughn Bryan walked before Juan Herrera squared to bunt but pulled it back and chopped the ball over the drawn-in third baseman. Bryan got to third and Herrera took second on the throw. After an out, Bean was intentionally walked on a 3-1 pitch. Peoples-Walls popped up to second on the first pitch of his at bat for the second out. On a 2-2 pitch, Mason Katz hit a hard line drive over the head of the running center fielder to score all three runs as Katz pulled in to third with a bases-clearing triple and a 5-3 Chiefs lead.
Reed tossed the first five innings allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits with four strikeouts. Chase Brookshire followed with 2 2/3 scoreless frames on three hits and a strikeout. Chris Perry (3-0) stranded two inherited runners in the eighth before striking out the side in order in the ninth for the win.
Notes: The home run by Peoples-Walls snapped a 16-inning scoreless streak by the Chiefs…Peoples-Walls had his second straight multi-hit game…The three RBI for Katz gives him 29 which ties him for the team-lead with Ronald Castillo…The triple by Katz snapped a personal 0-for-20 streak…Herrera stole his team-best 21st base and second in as many games…The Chiefs drew six walks compared to five strikeouts…Bean drew two walks to give him a team-high 24…The Chiefs got their 14th comeback win, second when trailing after seven innings and eighth in their last at-bat…Game two of the three-game series is Sunday at 6:00 p.m.…The Chiefs will send RHP Blake McKnight (1-4, 6.08) to the mound against Cougars RHP Justin Amlung (3-0, 1.76)…Stay after the game to enjoy post-game fireworks…The first 1,000 fans will receive a Carson Kelly Player Poster courtesy of the Peoria Journal Star…The first 1,000 kids age 12 and under will receive a glow-in-the-dark T-shirt…It's Six Flags Night, meaning all kids 48 inches and under will receive a free ticket to Six Flags St. Louis…Tickets for kids age 12 and under are $5…Kids will also receive a free hot dog, bag of chips and drink courtesy of PNC…It's also Strike Out Stroke Night…All fans can play catch on the field before the game…All fans can also receive autographs from Chiefs players on the field before the game…The broadcast can be heard, starting with the Pre-Game Show at 5:40 p.m., on www.peoriachiefs.com/listenlive which also has downloads for a free app on the iPhone, iPad, Blackberry and Android. The broadcast is also available on the Peoria Chiefs Network in the Tune-In Radio App.