Peoria, IL – Evan Mendoza singled the Peoria Chiefs to a 4-3 walk-off win against the Quad Cities River Bandits on Wednesday in game one of the first round of the Midwest League Playoffs. The Chiefs lead the series 1-0 and will play game two against the River Bandits in Davenport, IA on Thursday with a 6:30 p.m. first pitch.
The Chiefs struck first against Quad Cities reliever Kit Scheetz, who came out of the bullpen to replace MLB rehabber Michael Feliz, in the second inning. Mendoza led off with a single to right and went to second when Luis Payano booted the ball in right field. Brian O’Keefe singled to left to move Mendoza to third. Juan Yepez grounded into a force out that retired O’Keefe at second, but plated Mendoza to give Peoria a 1-0 lead.
Quad Cities took the lead in the fourth against Chiefs starter Ian Oxnevad. Astros rehabber Colin Moran was hit by a pitch and went to third when Abraham Toro doubled off the wall in left. Josh Rojas hit a sacrifice fly to center field and Moran scored to make it a 1-1 game. Toro went to third when Wander Franco grounded out and scored when Kristian Trompiz singled to left, giving the Bandits a 2-1 advantage.
Peoria took the lead back in the sixth against Scheetz and reliever Jesus Balaguer. With one out Stefan Trosclair singled and Mendoza doubled to right, giving the Chiefs runners at second and third. O’Keefe flew a sacrifice fly to right that brought home Trosclair and tied the game at 2-2. Balaguer entered from the bullpen and walked Yepez and Dylan Carlson to load the bases. Matt Fielder walked to force in Mendoza and give the Chiefs a 3-2 advantage.
The River Bandits tied the game in the seventh against Chiefs reliever Bryan Dobzanski. Payano led off with a single to right field and scored when Chas McCormick tripled to center, tying the game at 3-3.
Peoria won the game in the ninth against Quad Cities relievers Devon Carr and Robert Corniel. Fennell led off with a walk against Carr and Kramer Robertson laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Fennell to second and went to third on a wild pitch. Trosclair walked to give Peoria runners at the corners with one out. Mendoza chopped a single into right field to score Fennell and give the Chiefs a 4-3 walk off win.
Oxnevad went six innings in a no decision, allowing two runs on three hits with three walks and a strikeout. Dobzanski blew a save and threw an inning of relief, allowing one run on two hits with a strikeout. Austin Sexton logged an inning of perfect work with two strikeouts. Yeison Medina (1-0) earned the win, pitching one scoreless inning while allowing one hit and a walk with one strikeout.