PEORIA, IL- The Peoria Chiefs scored twice in the bottom of the ninth to earn a walk-off victory over the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers on Friday night. The win is the third in a row for the Chiefs and a sweep of the series on Saturday will pull the Chiefs even in the Wild Card race. Peoria's record is 30-30 in the second half and 67-62 overall with ten games remaining.
Wisconsin scored first with a run in the second inning against Arturo Reyes. Michael Ratterree drew a one-out walk and Taylor Brennan reached on an infield single. Rafael Neda followed with a slow ground ball into center field to score Ratterree. A force out and a stolen base of second by Johnny Davis put runners at second and third with two outs, but Reyes got a strikeout of Jose Pena to end the inning.
The Chiefs tied the game in the fourth against rehabbing Brewers pitcher Wei-Chung Wang. Richy Pedroza walked with one out. With Carson Kelly batting, Pedroza broke for second. Kelly swung and missed but the ball went to the backstop and Pedroza advanced to third. On the next pitch, Kelly chopped a single over the head of Brennan at third base to even the score. Justin Ringo followed by hitting into a force out and Ronald Castillo singled to right. Ringo got to third but Castillo was thrown out at second to end the inning.
The Timber Rattlers took the lead back in the fifth with an unearned run. After Reyes set down the first two, Clint Coulter walked. Ratterree lined a double to left-center that Castillo misplayed to allow Coulter to score for a 2-1 Wisconsin lead.
Peoria scored a pair of runs in the ninth to overcome the deficit and walk-off with the win. CJ McElroy Jr. opened the inning with a line drive single to left. Pedroza sacrificed McElroy to second and Kelly walked. Ringo blooped a single to center to load the bases and Michael Schulze pinch-ran for Kelly at second base. Castillo hit a sacrifice fly to center to score McElroy and tie the game at two. Rowan Wick drilled a two-strike pitch to the wall in left, plating Schulze and giving the Chiefs the 3-2 walk-off victory.
Reyes pitched six innings allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits with three walks and seven strikeouts. Jacob Booden tossed 1 2/3 hitless and scoreless innings with one walk and two strikeouts. Robert Stock (1-2) went 1 1/3 innings allowing just a walk and earned the win.
Notes: Following Thursday's game, Steve Sabatino was promoted to Palm Beach…Reyes picked up his team-leading 12th quality start…Booden pitched at Dozer Park for the first time since graduating from Bradley University in 2012…Pedroza stole his first base since July 11, 2013 with Johnson City…McElroy stole his 39th base which leaves him one shy of breaking into the top-ten in single-season franchise history…Stock picked up his first win in exactly one year when he was with Palm Beach…The Chiefs won for the 19th time in their last at-bat and walked-off for the sixth time…Three of the walk-offs are against Wisconsin…The Chiefs have 13 walk-off wins against Wisconsin at Dozer Park, the most against any team…The Chiefs went over the 200,000 mark in attendance for the second straight year...The three-game series and six-game homestand concludes Saturday at 6:30 p.m.…The Chiefs send LHP Kyle Helisek (1-0, 6.57) to the mound against RHP Zach Quintana (3-5, 5.12) for Wisconsin…There will be postgame fireworks presented by CEFCU…The broadcast can be heard, starting with the Pre-Game Show at 6:15 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.