The Peoria Chiefs scored four runs in the top of the fifth inning to turn a one-run deficit into a three-run advantage and never looked back as they defeated the Quad Cities River Bandits 7-2 at Modern Woodmen Park on Thursday. The victory advanced Peoria to the Western Division Championship Series and ended the River Bandits season.
Peoria started the scoring in the top of the third inning against Bandits starter Chad Donato. Andres Luna lined a triple off of the right field wall to start the frame. Donato retired the next two hitters without Luna scoring, but then had to face Luken Baker. Baker hooked a single into left field that finally brought Luna home and made it 1-0.
In the bottom of the third inning, the Bandits scored their first runs of the series and took the lead. Trey Dawson singled through the middle to spark the attack. He would come all the way around to score when Marty Costes drove an RBI double into the left center gap to tie the game. Costes advanced to third on the play and scored on an error by Yariel Gonzalez to give the Bandits a 2-1 advantage.
The lead remained one as Humberto Castellanos took over out of the River Bandits pen in the sixth inning. Gonzalez, Dennis Ortega and Nolan Gorman opened the frame with three consecutive singles, Gorman's evening the score 2-2. Castellanos retired the next two hitters, but Luna's base hit up the middle scored Ortega and gave Peoria the lead. Justin Toerner also followed with an RBI single with Luna also scoring all the way from first base when Chandler Taylor's throw back to the infield got away.
In the top of the seventh, Willy Collado loaded the bases on two walks and a single from Gonzalez. Gorman followed with a hard groundball toward first that caromed off Scott Schreiber's glove and bounced into right field. Two runs scored on the error and the lead grew to 7-2 as a result. That turned out to be the final score.
The Bandits were outhit 11-5 in the contest. Dawson was the only player to finish with multiple hits. Peoria received three hits from Ortega and a pair of knocks from Luna and Gonzalez.
Donato received a no-decision after throwing 5.0 innings and allowing one run on four hits. The loss went to Castellanos after he allowed four runs, three earned, on five hits. Collado, Hansel Paulino, Parker Mushinski and Tanner Duncan each worked an inning or less to finish out the game. Collado was the only one to allow runs, both of the runs he allowed were unearned.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.