Geneva, IL – The Peoria Chiefs fell behind early and fell to the Kane County Cougars 12-5 Friday night despite Nolan Gorman hitting his first Midwest League home run. The loss drops the Chiefs to 67-48 on the season as they return home for a four-game series against Clinton
Saturday’s scheduled starter Paul Balestrieri was pressed into emergency duty Friday night when Angel Rondon was scratched two hours before first pitch with a stiff neck. Balestrieri threw a no-hitter in Kane County June 7 but the Cougars came out swinging in the bottom of the first Friday. Yoel Yanqui singled with one out and Yan Sanchez moved him to third with a hit-and-run single. Tim Susnara walked to load the bases and Kane County took the lead on a single by Jancarlos Cintron. Brandon Benson threw out Sanchez at the plate on the play but the hosts re-loaded the bases on a walk to Tra Holmes. Ryan Grotjohn singled home two and Eudy Ramos gave Kane County a 5-0 lead with a double to center before Balestrieri got out of the inning with two on base.
The Cougars exploded for seven more runs in the third inning. Luis Lara singled home the first run of the frame before Jose Caballero hit a three-run homer. With two on and two out, Zach Prendergast took over on the mound before Holmes singled home two and a seventh run scored on an error.
The Chiefs got on the board against Jayson McKinley in the top of the fourth. With one down Dennis Ortega doubled to left and scored on a double by Zach Kirtley. Luken Baker delivered the Chiefs third straight double as he brought home Kirtley to cut the Cougars lead to 12-2.
Peoria scored the final three runs in the top of the ninth inning. Rayder Ascanio singled with two outs and Nick Plummer drew his second walk of the game. Gorman collected his first Chiefs hit with a three-run homer into the right-field picnic tables to end the scoring at 12-5 Kane County.
Balestrieri (7-5) took the loss as he allowed 11 runs on 10 hits and three walks over 2 2/3 innings while also hitting one. Prendergast allowed one unearned run on five hits over 2 2/3 innings while striking out three. Ben Yokley struck out one over 1 2/3 hitless and shutout innings. Robbie Gordon retired all three batters he faced in the eighth with one strikeout.
Notes… Kirtley has a nine-game hit streak, which ties his career high…He has five doubles in five games in Geneva this season…Gorman hit 11 homers in Johnson City and has 12 total in 39 games as a pro…Nick Plummer has a team-high 54 walks, one more than his tally from 2017…With 107 career walks he is now tied for fourth on the Chiefs career list…Baker had his second 3-hit game with the Chiefs, tying a professional career high…Davis has back-to-back multi-hit games…The 11 runs and 10 hits are both career and season highs against Balestrieri…The runs are the most allowed by a Chiefs pitcher since at least 2001…Robert Hernandez allowed 10 runs to Great Lakes on August 7, 2007…The Chiefs record book before the 2002 season is incomplete in terms of single-game pitching lines…The teams have split 12 games this season and have six left head-to-head, three in each city…Kane County has won games against the Chiefs 13-0, 11-2 and 12-2…The Chiefs have 27 outfield assists…The Chiefs head home to face the Clinton LumberKings Saturday night in Gorman’s Dozer Park debut…The Chiefs will start RH Alvaro Seijas (4-6, 4.49) against Clinton RH Clay Chandler (6-3, 3.81)…The 6:30 p.m. contest features post-game fireworks presented by CEFCU….Saturday is a Signature Saturday, Organ Donor Night and Super Hero Night with appearances by Wolverine, Wonder Woman, Spider Man and Aquaman…The broadcast can be heard, starting with the Pre-Game Show at 6:15 p.m. on www.peoriachiefs.com/listenlive and is also available on the Peoria Chiefs Network in the Tune-In Radio App…The game is also available to subscribers on MiLB.TV.