Peoria, IL - A bizarre game that included the Peoria Chiefs taking a no-hitter into the eighth inning despite walking five batters in the first inning, ended on a bases loaded sacrifice fly as the Burlington Bees walked-off with a 4-3 Thursday night win. The loss drops the Chiefs to 5-9 on the season with game two of the series set for Friday.
The Chiefs jumped out to an early lead against Jake Lee in the top of the first inning. Lars Nootbaar led off with a double to left-center and moved to third on a groundout. Nolan Gorman singled through the shift for his 15th RBI of the season to put the visitors on top 1-0. Brady Whalen's single put runners on the corners and Brendan Donovan gave the Chiefs a 2-0 lead with a sacrifice fly.
Burlington scored in the bottom of the inning without getting a hit against Cole Aker. After a strikeout, Aker walked five straight Bees batters and benefitted from Kevin Maitan running into an out at the plate on a pitch in the dirt. With two outs and the bases loaded, Edgar Escobar came out of the bullpen and got a strikeout to end the frame with the Chiefs up 2-1.
The game stayed 2-1 until the eighth. Escobar walked one and gave way to Freddy Pacheco who struck out seven of the nine batters he faced. Thomas St. Clair issued a walk but got out of the seventh with the no-hitter intact. Jordyn Adams walked to start the eighth and Livan Soto blooped a double down the left-field line to break up the no-no. With one out Fabian Blanco took over on the mound and the Bees took a 3-2 lead with three straight singles.
Down a run the Chiefs tied the game in the ninth against Chris Molina and Tyler Smith. Leandro Cedeno doubled off Molina to start the inning and with one out Smith came in to face Delvin Perez. Perez reached on a bunt single and pinch-runner Edwin Figuera moved up to third. Figurea scored to tie the game on a wild pitch as Perez took second. Perez stole third but Smith retired Nootbaar to end the inning.
Burlington won the game in the bottom of the ninth as they loaded the bases against Blanco with a single and two walks. With one out, Maitan delivered a sacrifice fly to center for the 4-3 win.
Aker walked five and allowed one run while striking out one in 2/3 of an inning. Escobar allowed one walk and struck out four over three hitless innings. Pacheco threw three perfect innings while striking out seven. St. Clair allowed two runs on one hit and two walks while striking out one over 2/3 of an inning. Blanco (0-1) took the loss as he allowed one run on four hits and two walks while striking out two over 1 1/3 innings.
The Chiefs and Bees play the second game of the series Friday at 6:30 p.m. The Chiefs are scheduled to start LH Diego Cordero (1-1, 3.00) against Burlington RH Kyle Tyler (1-0, 6.00). The broadcast can be heard, starting with the Pre-Game Show at 6:15 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.