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Chiefs Flex Muscles, Club Four Home Runs in Comeback Triumph

(Emily Jones)
June 16, 2022

Peoria, IL – The Chiefs overcame a five-run deficit and scored in each of their final five frames to rally past the West Michigan Whitecaps 13-9 on Thursday. With the win, Peoria snapped a three-game skid and recorded their first win against the Whitecaps since September of last year. For

Peoria, IL – The Chiefs overcame a five-run deficit and scored in each of their final five frames to rally past the West Michigan Whitecaps 13-9 on Thursday. With the win, Peoria snapped a three-game skid and recorded their first win against the Whitecaps since September of last year.

For the third day in a row, the Whitecaps scored in the first inning. An RBI groundout pushed West Michigan in front, 1-0 against Peoria starter Zane Mills. After a clean second inning, the Whitecaps plated four in the third inning, doing all their damage with two outs. After a throwing error plated Daniel Cabrera, Josh Crouch doubled home a run to make it 3-0. The next batter, Austin Murr, mashed a two-run blast to make it 5-0.

With the deficit sitting at five entering the bottom of the fourth, Peoria fought back. With two men aboard, LJ Jones started the home run parade. With the count 1-1, Jones mashed a slider over the left field wall to cut the West Michigan advantage to 5-3. For Jones, it was his third long ball of the season.

West Michigan quickly answered in the top of the fifth, however. It was Murr who again delivered, this time with a two-run double to make it 7-3. In the home half of the inning, the Chiefs trimmed the deficit yet again. This time, Tyler Reichenborn touched them all to get the deficit back to two, 7-5.

On the mound, Mills continued to battle to give the Chiefs a chance. The right-hander exited with two outs in the sixth in a 7-5 game. Nathanael Heredia entered to face left-handed hitting Bryant Packard, who fought off some tough pitches before his infield single made it 8-5.

Peoria continued their offensive explosion in the bottom of the sixth and this time leveled the contest. With two on and two out, Carlos Soto homered onto Adams Street to make it an 8-8 ballgame. For Soto, it was his third blast of the year and his second of the home stand.

West Michigan regained the lead momentarily in the top of the seventh, but Peoria erased any doubt in the home half of the seventh. All nine Chiefs batters came to the plate in the inning. After a Francisco Hernandez double tied the contest once again, Thomas Francisco singled home two against a drawn-in infield to give the Chiefs their first lead of the night, 11-9. Later, a safety squeeze play brought Francisco in to make it 12-9.

Heredia worked a clean eighth inning and earned his first win of the year. In the bottom of the eighth, the Chiefs scored a lucky-13 on a Todd Lott blast, a line drive homer into left, to create the final margin. Andre Granillo earned the final three outs in the ninth. The right-hander was robbed of a save by Lott’s home run an inning prior.

Peoria will try to even the series Friday at Dozer Park as they debut their Peoria Pork Tenderloins alter ego. The Chiefs will wear the Pork Tenderloins specialty jerseys two more times this season. Friday’s first pitch is set for 6:35 p.m.