PEORIA, IL - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers had a lot of chances, but it was the Peoria Chiefs who picked up a 4-3 win in 14 innings at Peoria Chiefs Stadium on Tuesday night. Oliver Zapata singled with two outs to score Pin-Chieh Chen with the winning run in the bottom of the fourteenth. The Rattlers had won the first three games of the four game series in Peoria, but the Chiefs avoided the sweep with the Tuesday's win.
Greg Hopkins put the Rattlers (33-19) in front with a leadoff home run in the top of the second inning. Later in the inning, Cameron Garfield scored on a Yadiel Rivera fielder's choice.
Peoria (23-29) responded with a pair of two out runs of Rattlers starting pitcher Drew Gagnon. Yasiel Balaguert doubled in a run with two away in the second. Then, Ryan Cuneo blasted a two-out solo homer in the third to tie the game 2-2.
The Chiefs took the lead in the fourth inning. Javier Baez drew a walk with one out and stole second. He scored on a single to right by Anthony Giansanti. Gagnon would not allow another runner. He retired the final eleven batters he faced.
Wisconsin rallied to tie the game in the seventh. Peoria reliever Larry Suarez retired the first two batters of the frame, but back-to-back infield singles by John Dishon and Chadwin Stang and a walk to Brandon Macias loaded the bases. Jason Rogers singled off the glove of Suarez to get Dishon home with the tying run.
Wisconsin put the leadoff batter on base to lead off the eighth, ninth, and twelfth but could not score. The Rattlers also put a runner on base with one out in the tenth and eleventh innings, but could not score.
Kenny Socorro, a position player for the Chiefs, entered the game in the top of the thirteenth. Socorro had been on the Peoria roster all season long, but had not appeared in a game until Tuesday night. He retired the Rattlers in order.
In the bottom of the thirteenth, Zeke DeVoss doubled to start the inning against reliever Tommy Toledo. One out later, the right-handed Toledo walked the left-hand batting Cuneo to face right-hand hitting Paul Hoilman for a potential double play ball. Toledo walked him to load the bases. But, Toledo escaped by getting a force out at the play at the plate on a chopper to third and striking out Javier Baez on a 3-2 pitch.
Socorro retired the Rattlers in order again in the top of the fourteenth.
Tyler Cravy relieved Toledo in the fourteenth inning and gave up a single to Giansanti to start the inning. But, Balaguert bunted into a 1-6-3 double play. However, Cravy walked Chen on a 3-2 pitch. Chen would steal second and DeVoss would draw another walk on a 3-2 pitch. Zapata lined the first pitch of the at bat to left field and Dishon fielded it on one hop. His throw to the plate appeared to be in time, but Chen's slide knocked the ball free and the Chiefs celebrated the marathon win.
The Beloit Snappers probably celebrated the Peoria win as well. The second place Snappers defeated Kane County 5-4 in eleven innings earlier in the day. That win and the Rattlers loss moved Beloit to within two games of the first place Rattlers in the Western Division of the Midwest League with eighteen games remaining in the first half.
The Timber Rattlers continue their 13-game road trip in Cedar Rapids when they play the Kernels on Wednesday night. Chad Thompson (1-1, 6.53) is the scheduled starting pitcher for Wisconsin. Cedar Rapids has Austin Wood (2-3, 3.78) as their scheduled starter. Game time is 6:35pm. Tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:15pm.
Greg Hopkins (6th, 0 on in 2nd inning off Kyler Burke, 0 out)
Ryan Cuneo (4th, 0 on in 3rd off Drew Gagnon, 2 out)
WP: Kenny Socorro (1-0)
LP: Tyler Cravy (1-2)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.