Davenport, IA - The Peoria Chiefs allowed three home runs and were eliminated from the Midwest League playoffs with an 8-5 loss to the Quad Cities River Bandits Friday night. The Chiefs made the playoffs for the third straight season for the first time in team history but all three seasons ended at the hands of Iowa teams.
The game was scoreless into the bottom of the second as former high school teammates Anthony Shew and Patrick Sandoval dueled. Chuckie Robinson led off the bottom of the second with a single and Josh Rojas put the Bandits on top with a two-run homer to right. Abe Toro followed with a solo shot for a 3-0 lead before the Bandits loaded the bases with two outs. Major Leaguer Colin Moran singled to right to put the Bandits on top 4-0 before reliever Leland Tilley got out of the inning.
Quad Cities kept the offense going against Tilley in the third. After a pair of one-out walks, JJ Matejevic singled for a 5-0 Bandits lead. Austin Sexton took over for Tilley with the bases loaded and Chas McCormick beat out an infield single to second for a 6-0 lead. The Bandits added a seventh run on the play as Stefan Trosclair's throw to third was wild. In the fourth inning Robinson's second homer of the series put the hosts on top 8-0.
The Chiefs got on the board in the fifth inning when Brian O'Keefe homered to right field with one out. The homer was the second of the series for the Chiefs and second in a playoff game for O'Keefe in his career.
In the sixth the Chiefs scored again. With one down Mick Fennell walked and pinch-hitter Juan Yepez singled to right. Kramer Robertson doubled home Fennell to make it an 8-2 game with one out. Sandoval bounced back to strike out Trosclair and Evan Mendoza grounded out. Peoria loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh but reliever Lucas Williams got out of the jam with a ground out from Yepez.
The Chiefs narrowed the gap again in the eighth. Robertson led off with a single and moved to third on a one-out single by Mendoza. O'Keefe singled home Robertson to cut the Bandits lead to 8-3 and Robert Corniel took over on the mound for Williams. Matt Fiedler greeted Corniel with a RBI single to right as Mendoza scored to cut the lead to 8-4. With two outs, Ryan McCarvel singled home O'Keefe to move the score to 8-5 and bring the tying run to the plate. Corniel struck out Fennel to end the inning with the Chiefs down three.
Shew (0-1) took the loss as he allowed four runs on five hits and a walk over just 1 2/3 innings as he struck out four. Tilley allowed three runs, two earned, on one hits and three walks over 2/3 of an inning. Sexton allowed one run on two hits over 1 2/3 innings while striking out one. Dewin Perez threw three shutout innings as he allowed one hit and struck out one. Medina threw a shutout inning with one hit batter.
Notes… Peoria is 1-5 in Game 3 of a best-of-3 series in their history, with the only win coming in 1985…The Chiefs are 3-10 when facing elimination in their history with the last win coming in 1998…Peoria is 1-5 on September 8…The Chiefs have been eliminated on September 8 in consecutive years…The Chiefs are 2-5 in series against Iowa teams with both wins coming in 2002…Peoria has been knocked out of the playoffs three years in a row by Iowa teams (Cedar Rapids 2015, Clinton 2016, Quad Cities 2017)…O'Keefe joins Bruce Crabbe from 1985 as the only players with two playoff home runs in franchise history…He homered on September 8 last year as well…O'Keefe has 35 career Chiefs homers including the playoffs…Astros Major Leaguer Colin Moran was 1-for-4 Friday and 5-for-10 with two RBI and two doubles in the series…Astros Major Leaguer Evan Gattis was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts Friday and 0-for-8 with three strikeouts in the series…The Chiefs next game is April 5, 2018 in Burlington, Iowa.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.