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Peoria Pitching Keeps Loons Quiet, Chiefs Sweep Doubleheader

Great Lakes scores just three runs in seventeen innings
April 16, 2022

A final line of three runs on six hits would indicate a cold offensive night in a standard nine-inning game. Let alone 17 innings. In a doubleheader Friday night at Dozer Park in Peoria, Ill., that’s all the Great Lakes Loons could muster, as they lose both games to the

A final line of three runs on six hits would indicate a cold offensive night in a standard nine-inning game.

Let alone 17 innings.

In a doubleheader Friday night at Dozer Park in Peoria, Ill., that’s all the Great Lakes Loons could muster, as they lose both games to the Peoria Chiefs by scores of 2-1 (10 inn.) and 5-2 (seven inn.).

Game one, which got started at 6:00 p.m. Eastern, was a true pitchers’ duel from start to finish. The Loons (2-5) got great work from right-handed starter Cole Percival, who tossed four scoreless innings, allowing three walks and just two hits while recording three strikeouts.

Peoria (4-3) had a great starting pitching performance as well. Right-hander Michael McGreevy tossed 6 2-3 scoreless, striking out four batters and surrendering no walks. McGreevy, last year’s first-round draft pick by the St. Louis Cardinals, allowed just two hits, both off the bat of Loons third baseman Leonel Valera. At one point, the UC Santa Barbara product retired 15 Great Lakes hitters in a row.

At the same time, the Loons bullpen would bend, but not break. The Chiefs offense stranded 13 runners on base, including six innings where they stranded two men aboard. Loons righty Ryan Sublette gave up two hits and a walk in 1 2-3 innings and picked up three strikeouts, but did not allow a run. Great Lakes southpaw Jacob Cantleberry followed that up with 2 1-3 innings of one-hit baseball, allowing a walk as well, but he struck out two and kept the Chiefs off the board.

The stellar pitching from both teams kept the game scoreless through regulation, which was scheduled to be just seven innings because of the doubleheader. The game would take three extra innings to settle. A baserunner is automatically aboard second to begin each extra inning, which in tonight’s game, started in the eighth.

Even so, both teams were held scoreless in the eighth inning. The game’s first run would not score until the ninth, when Eddys Leonard smacked a two-out double to score Ryan January, who began the frame on second. The Loons took a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the ninth, but Peoria had the answer. Noah Mendlinger, the initial baserunner, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and Masyn Winn knocked him home with a sacrifice fly to center field. The Loons got out of the frame with a double play.

In the top of the tenth inning, the Loons failed to score their placed runner, and the Chiefs had momentum heading into the bottom of the frame. Antonio Knowles (L, 0-1) walked the first two batters he faced, loading the bases with nobody out, then threw a wild pitch to score the winning run. Peoria 2, Great Lakes 1 in 10 innings.

Game two began approximately 40 minutes after the conclusion of the first contest, right around 9:20 Eastern time. The Chiefs, once again, had a tremendous performance from their starter. Right-hander Gordon Graceffo (W, 2-0) tossed six frames of two-hit baseball, allowing one earned run and striking out seven, to keep the Loons bats at bay.

Great Lakes scored first in the second contest as well. Ismael Alcantara led off the second inning with a double, and two outs later, Edwin Mateo hit a double off the top of the wall to score Alcantara and give the Loons a 1-0 lead. The Loons have just two wins despite scoring the first run in all seven of their contests this season.

After that Mateo double, Graceffo retired 13 Loons in a row, and the Chiefs offense did well to support him. They fought back immediately in the bottom of the second, scoring three unearned runs off of Loons starter Aldry Acosta (L, 0-1). Tommy Jew reached on a Leonard error, and after Acosta retired two in the frame, Peoria put five men on base in a row, on three hits and two walks, to take a 3-1 lead.

The Chiefs pushed across a run on no hits in the fourth (two walks, RBI groundout) and one run on a hit in the sixth (two walks, a single, and a sacrifice fly) to put the game further out of reach. The Loons mounted a small comeback effort in the game’s final frame, the seventh. Leonard reached to start the frame when he was hit by a pitch, moved to second on a groundout, then Zac Ching reached on an infield single, and Leonard scored on a throwing error attempting to put out Ching. Ultimately, the comeback effort proved to be too little, too late.

The Chiefs now lead the series, 3-1, and have secured at least a tie in the six-game set. Game five of the Loons road trip is set for Saturday night at Dozer Field in Peoria, beginning at 7:35 p.m. Eastern. Loons right-hander Nick Nastrini makes his second start of the young season, facing off against fellow righty Dionys Rodriguez for Peoria. Coverage on ESPN 100.9 FM begins at 7:20 p.m. with the Loons On-Deck Circle, driven by Garber Chevrolet Midland.

The Great Lakes Loons have been a Single-A partner of the Los Angeles Dodgers since the team’s inception in 2007. Dow Diamond serves as the team’s home and also houses the Michigan Baseball Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity, and ESPN 100.9-FM. For tickets or information about the Loons, call 989-837-BALL or visit