July 29, 2007 - Midwest League (MWL) - Peoria Chiefs
Peoria, IL- The Peoria Chiefs finished an eight game homestand with an improbable comeback in the tenth inning with a 6-5 win over the visiting Dayton Dragons. The win sends the Chiefs to 22-13 on the half and keeps them in first place by a half game over Quad Cities.
Trailing 5-2, Peoria rallied in the bottom of the tenth inning after Darwin Barney walked to start the inning. With one out, Wellington Castillo singled and Blake Lalli doubled to score Barney to make it 5-3. Russ Canzler hit into a fielder\'s choice to score Castillo to make it a 5-4 game but Lalli was retired in a rundown between second and third. Clark Hardman delivered his biggest hit since joining the Chiefs with a two out RBI double to score Canzler to tie game 5-5. Ryne Malone picked up his fourth hit of the game with a game winning single to score the winning run from second base.
The Chiefs jumped out to an early lead in the second inning after Canzler got things started with a base hit. Hardman then lined a double into the right field corner to give the Chiefs runners on second and third with one out. Malone picked up the third straight hit off Daniel Guerrero to score Canzler to make it 1-0.
Dayton tied the game in the top of the fifth inning against Chiefs starter Jose Pina. Logan Parker took the first pitch of the inning out to left field to make it 1-1. Pina has now given up a league high 16 home runs this season. Dayton got a two out hit from Billy Rojo that would have given the Dragons the lead back but Jim Adduci gunned down Denis Phipps at the plate to end the inning.
Peoria took the lead back in the sixth inning off Guerrero. Henry Blanco, playing in what is likely his final rehab appearance with the Chiefs, homered to left field on a 1-1 pitch to make it a 2-1 game. Blanco drove in five runs in 19 at bats during his eight game stint in Peoria.
Jose Ceda relieved Pina in the eighth and walked both Carson Kainer and Eddy Rodriguez to start the frame. Closer Alex Maestri came on for Ceda with nobody out and Dayton sacrificed the runners to second and third. Drew Stubbs tied the game 2-2 with a single up the middle but centerfielder Leon Johnson threw Rodriguez out at the plate for the inning\'s second out. Stubbs then stole second but Justin Turner bounced out to end the frame.
Dayton threatened against Maestri in the top of the ninth. Parker picked up his second hit of the game with a single. Juan Francisco doubled into the right field corner to put runners on second and third with one out. Maestri then intentionally walked Denis Phipps to load the bases. Maestri struck out Kainer looking for the second out and got Eddy Rodriquez to pop out to Canzler at first to keep the game tied.
The Dragons got the first two runners on to start the tenth inning off Jayson Ruhlman. Rojo singled on a tough hop past Derek Schermerhorn at third base to start the inning. Stubbs was then hit by a pitch to put two on with no outs. Justin Turner tripled off the wall in right center to score both runners to make it 4-2. Francisco picked up his second double of the game to score Turner to make it 5-2 and set the stage of the Chiefs heroics.
Pina tied a season and career high with seven innings of work. He allowed just one run on five hits while walking one and striking out eight. Ceda allowed a run while walking both batters he faced. Ceda did not retire a batter and walked two. Maestri blew his first save in eight chances after giving up the eighth inning single to Stubbs. He stayed on to work two innings and allowed three hits and a run that was charged to Ceda. Ruhlman picked up the win in one inning of work despite giving up three runs on three hits.
Gorman\'s Pub Player of the Game Ryne Malone (3B) - Ryne finished the game 4-for-5 including the game winning hit in the bottom of the tenth inning. Malone also doubled to give him 11 doubles on the season. It was also his first four hit game of the season.
Notes... The Chiefs recorded two outfield assists in the game as Blanco adjusted to tag both runners out at the plate...Blanco\'s homer was the first hit this month by the Chiefs at home...The Chiefs are still undefeated when leading after seven innings this season at 46-0...Pina allowed his league leading 16th homer and is now just one away from the Chiefs single season record... The last four runs Pina has allowed have come on solo homers...Peoria\'s biggest comeback of the season was a 10-9 win at Dayton on May 11th when they trailed by five entering the 8th inning...The Chiefs took the season series 5-3 with Dayton...Peoria is 2-5 and 1-3 at home in extra inning games in 2007...The Chiefs have not lost three in a row since July 12-14 against the Swing...Johnson and Adduci are now tied with Russ Canzler for the team lead in outfield assists with two...The Chiefs now hit the road for an eight game road trip beginning on Monday against West Michigan at 6:00 PM CST...Peoria will send RHP Marco Carrillo (4-4, 4.65) to the mound against White Caps LH Lauren Gagnier (4-10, 4.76)...The game can be heard live beginning with the pregame at 5:45 PM local time online at www.peoriachiefs.com or on WOAM 1350.