Cedar Rapids, IA - The Peoria Chiefs used two big innings to knock off the Cedar Rapids Kernels 10-2 on Thursday night, marking their largest season-opening margin of victory in team history. The 1-0 Chiefs will be at Cedar Rapids again Friday night in the series finale.
The Chiefs jumped on top of the Kernels and Blayne Enlow in the top of the second inning. Ivan Herrera, the youngest player on the Chiefs roster at 18, launched a home run over the high left-field wall for a solo homer and a 1-0 lead.
The Chiefs knocked Enlow from the game while taking a big lead in the third. Wadye Ynfante led off with a single to right and Brandon Riley singled to center. Nolan Gorman drew a walk to load the bases and Brady Whalen gave the Chiefs a 2-0 lead with a single to right. Brendan Donovan's single plated a run and Leandro Cedeno put the Chiefs on top 4-0 with a single to left. Lars Nootbaar doubled to right-center to score Whalen and Donovan for a 6-0 Chiefs lead. Austin Schulfer came out of the bullpen and walked Herrera to reload the bases before striking out the next three.
Tommy Parsons cruised through five innings on the mound for the Chiefs, allowing one hit and two walks. Freddy Pacheco took over in the sixth and loaded the bases on two walks and an infield single. The Kernels scored two runs on a pair of singles before Chris Hunt escaped the inning with the Chiefs up 6-2.
Peoria immediately got those runs back, and more, against Jose Martinez. Herrera led off the seventh with a single and moved to second on a single by Delvin Perez. With two outs, Gorman singled past the shift to score Herrera for a 7-2 Chiefs lead. Whalen doubled to the wall in right to plate two and Donovan's single to center put the Chiefs up 10-2.
Parsons (1-0) earned the win as he struck out five and allowed just one hit over five shutout innings while walking two. Pacheco allowed two runs on four hits and a walk while striking out one in 2/3 of an inning. Hunt allowed one hit and hit a batter over 2 1/3 shutout innings while striking out two. Noel De Jesus walked one in one shutout inning.
Notes...The Chiefs had the leadoff man on in each of the first three innings…The Chiefs batted around in the third inning as the first eight batters reached…The Chiefs sent every batter to the plate in both the third and seventh innings…All nine Chiefs had at least one hit and seven of the nine scored at least one run…Cedeno reached five times with three singles and two walks…Last season Jake Walsh threw five no-hit innings on opening day at Burlington…The Chiefs are 18-19 in season openers, 11-10 on the road…Peoria had been 0-3 against the Kernels in season openers…The 10 runs are the most scored by the Chiefs in a season opener (11, 2003) and the eight run win is the largest margin of victory in an opener in team history…Game two of the series is scheduled for Friday in Cedar Rapids with a 6:35 p.m. first pitch....The Chiefs are expected to start AH Alvaro Seijas (0-0, 0.00) against Kernels RH Jordan Balazovic (0-0, 0.00)...The broadcast can be heard, starting with the Pre-Game Show at 6:20 p.m. on the Peoria Chiefs Tune-In Page, which is free and also has a free app for smartphones and tablets..
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.