PEORIA, IL - With the Chiefs trailing a run in the bottom of the ninth and a man on, Todd Lott golfed a high fly ball down the left field line that scraped over the wall and hoisted the Chiefs to a walk-off 7-6 victory over the Fort Wayne TinCaps
PEORIA, IL - With the Chiefs trailing a run in the bottom of the ninth and a man on, Todd Lott golfed a high fly ball down the left field line that scraped over the wall and hoisted the Chiefs to a walk-off 7-6 victory over the Fort Wayne TinCaps on Saturday night.
The win gives Peoria their eighth triumph in their last 10 games and their fourth walk-off victory of the season.
Fort Wayne began the night offensively, bringing in the game's first run on a Lucas Dunn triple that got past the dive of Lott in right field. One batter later, Corey Rosier lifted a sac fly to score Dunn and make it a 2-0 TinCaps lead.
Peoria was quick to answer however, picking up two runs of their own in the bottom of the inning. The first came on a Luis Rodriguez RBI ground out that plated LJ Jones. The next batter was Ramon Mendoza, who sharply lined a base hit into center field to knot the contest at 2-2.
The score remained locked at two per side until the fifth when Fort Wayne struck again, as a pair of walks allowed Padres top prospect Robert Hassell to step to the dish. Hassell then sent a deep fly ball to left-center that banged off the wall and cleared the bases, scoring a pair. The double pushed Fort Wayne ahead 4-2 through four and a half.
The TinCaps added an additional run to stretch the game to 5-2 in the top of the sixth thanks to a Rosier knock before the Chiefs mounted their comeback. With two on and two out, Luis Rodriguez battled to a two strike count and lined one into right field to score both Jones and Francisco Hernandez. The Peoria catcher scooped up his second and third RBI’s of the evening and pumped some life back into Dozer Park for what was to come.
The following frame, a Jacob Buchberger 5-3 groundout tied the game in the seventh, but Fort Wayne responded to the Chiefs blow with one of their own, snatching the lead back in the top of the eighth when Joshua Mears cracked a base hit to put the visitors up 6-5.
That set the stage for Peoria in the bottom of the ninth. Chasing a tally, Osvaldo Tovalin was called upon to pinch-hit in Ramon Mendoza’s spot but grounded out to kick off the frame. Tommy Jew then stepped up to the plate and spiked a high chopper to the left of the pitcher’s mound. The throw from TinCaps pitcher Ethan Routzahn airmailed first baseman Cole Cummings, but ricocheted off the tarp and back into the field of play. Mears, the TinCaps right fielder, swooped in from right and nearly tossed out Jew at first as he went scampering back with a head first dive. That play would prove to be the most important of the night, with Lott coming up next. Already with a pair of hits in the ballgame, Lott drove a towering fly ball to left field with just enough distance to clear the fence and give the Chiefs a last at-bat win.
The 7-6 triumph bumps the Chiefs record to 41-54 overall, and 13-16 in the second half. The series finale comes tomorrow afternoon with a rematch of Tuesday’s pitching matchup. Jackson Wolf tosses for Fort Wayne, while Austin Love gets the ball for the Chiefs with a chance to win the series. First pitch is penciled for 1:35.