Solbach Stifles Chiefs in 6-0 Shutout
Markus Solbach twirled a gem as he went the distance for a three-hit shutout as the South Bend Silver Hawks (18-11, 58-40) downed the Peoria Chiefs (17-12, 54-45) 6-0 on Sunday afternoon at Four Winds Field. Second baseman Fidel Pena led the offense with three hits, two runs scored, and two RBIs while third baseman Marty Herum gave the Hawks the lead for good with a tie-breaking two-run home run in the bottom of the fourth.
The South Bend Silver Hawks, the Class-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, were able to get to Peoria starter Rob Kaminsky (L, 4-2) in the bottom of the fourth. With one out first baseman Daniel Palka drew a walk. Palka quickly traded spots with shortstop Joe Munoz as Munoz grounded into a fielder's choice at second. Herum then stepped into the box and broke the scoreless tie. Herum launched a home run to left field on a 2-1 offering from Kaminsky to put the Hawks in front 2-0.
The Hawks added two more runs in the bottom of the fifth off Chiefs reliever Josh Lucas. Center fielder DJ Bowman led off the frame by getting plunked by Lucas. Bowman was able to quickly get back in the dugout and fetch some ice as Pena laced a triple off the wall in left-center to score Bowman. Left fielder Chuck Taylor followed by lofting a ball to left to plate Pena on the sacrifice fly and give the Hawks a 4-0 cushion.
South Bend tacked on two more insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh off Peoria reliever Robert Stock. Bowman started the rally by leading off with a double off the center field wall and then advancing to third on a wild pitch. Pena followed by collecting his second RBI on the afternoon with a single to right through the drawn in infield. During Taylor's at-bat, Pena swiped second base and then went to third on Taylor's single to left. After Palka went down on strikes, Munoz hit a hot shot to third. The ball caromed off the base straight up into the air, allowing Pena to score as Rafael Medina had to wait for gravity to take its toll on the ricochet.
The six run lead was more than enough for Solbach as he went the distance to earn the 6-0 victory. In total, Solbach tossed 103 pitches (70 strikes/33 balls) giving up only three hits while striking out three. Peoria, the Class-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, could not get anything going all afternoon long, only managing to get one runner past first base and having two of their four baserunners erased trying to steal second base.
The Hawks and Chiefs will meet in the rubber game of the three-game series on Monday afternoon at 1:05pm. Arturo Reyes (6-5, 3.43 ERA) will get the start for Peoria while Sean Furney (5-5, 4.46 ERA) takes the mound for South Bend. It is a Belly Buster Monday so upgrade your ticket for a wristband that includes unlimited hot dogs, hamburgers, popcorn, and peanuts throughout the game for only $15. There is also a special appearance by former MLB pitcher and five-time All-Star Jack Morris. He will be signing autographs during the game so come on out to the park for a chance to meet one of baseball's great pitchers.