A big fifth and sixth inning helped the Beloit Snappers (65-65) bounce back and beat the Peoria Chiefs (74-57) Saturday night at Dozer Park.
Trailing 3-2 in the sixth, the Snappers induced three consecutive walks, the last two from Jesus Lage and Austin Beck with the bases loaded. It forced in two runs and the Snappers took a 4-3 lead, never looking back.
The Snappers would tack on an insurance run in the ninth, when a Logan Farrar singled to Chiefs third baseman Nolan Gorman with Lazaro Armenteros on first. Gorman's throw trying to make a play sailed wide and allowed Armenteros to score and make it 5-3.
The Snappers trailed in this one right off the bat, no pun intended. Chiefs Rayder Ascanio led off the game with a solo home run to left and it was quickly 1-0 Chiefs.
The Chiefs would extend their lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the fourth. Wood Myers would double home Zach Kirtley and moments later, Brandon Benson singled home Myers.
Sparking the Snappers offense and their comeback tonight was shortstop Ryan Gridey. The second-year man out of Mississippi State was a perfect 3-for-3 with a walk.
His two RBI on the night came in the top of the fifth, when he turned on a pitch and sent it to deep left for a two-run shot that scored Jordan Devencenzi and make it a one run deficit at 3-2.
Snappers starter Jared Poché had hiccups in the first and fourth innings, but he gained control and kept the Chiefs off balance for the most part, even pitching a scoreless bottom of the sixth with a lead. He earned his first win since July 21st, going six complete innings with four strikeouts, three earned runs and just one walk.
As the game went on, the pitching from Poché and the rest of the bullpen of Ty Damron and Nick Highberger raised their level to shutdown the Chiefs. Damron earned a hold going 1.2 scoreless innings and three strikeouts. Nick Highberger earned his fifth save, going 1.1 innings and shutting down the Chiefs in the ninth that was capped off by a Ascanio strikeout to end the game.
Chiefs starter Paul Balestrieri pitched 4.1 good innings to start, but it was Thomas St. Clair and Patrick Dayton that issued four walks between the fifth and sixth in relief and St. Clair took the loss.
Aiding the Snappers Saturday was seven errors from the Chiefs, four on Gorman at third. It was a new season high for Peoria.
Beloit wasn't helping themselves out early at the plate, grounding into five double-plays, all five ending the Snapper at bats from the first to the fifth innings. The five twin killings were one away from tying a season high for the Snappers offense.
For Beloit, it's on the 22nd time this season they have won after the opponent scores first. They also moved back into a tie with Kane County for the wild-card spot in the second half of the season in the Western division.
Saturday will be an afternoon game at Dozer park between the Snappers and Chiefs, starting at 2:00 p.m. central time. On the hill to start for Beloit will be right-hander Bryce Conley (3-6, 3.99). Starting for the Chiefs will be right-hander Zach Prendergast (6-3, 2.82).
The Beloit Snappers are a member of the Midwest League and have been the Single-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics since 2013. For more ticket information, contact the Snappers office at (608) 362-2272 or on our website, www.snappersbaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.