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Captains Plate Three in Ninth to Walk-off Chiefs

August 18, 2023 - Midwest League (MWL)
Peoria Chiefs News Release

Eastlake, OH- Down to their final out, the Lake County Captains scored three runs on a Chase DeLauter double and a throwing error to down the Chiefs 4-3 Friday at Classic Park.

With two outs and runners at first and second, DeLauter doubled into the left field corner. Will Bartlett, the tying run, was prepared to stop at third base when Nathan Church's throw went to an unoccupied second base. With the ball rolling beyond the right field foul line, Bartlett and DeLauter were able to advance home and end the contest.

DeLauter's double erased a fantastic effort from the Peoria pitching staff. Max Rajcic whiffed seven over five innings and allowed just one run in his start. Nathanael Heredia faced the minimum over 2 1/3 innings and punched out three.

Lake County scored in the first inning to record their only other tally of the night. The Captains quickly placed runners at first and third three batters into the frame. Jorge Burgos, the next batter, lined out to right to score Jake Fox and make it 1-0.

The Peoria offense struggled early against Lake County starter Parker Messick. The Chiefs recorded just one hit through five innings. In the sixth, however, the Chiefs cashed in as the order rolled over for a third time. After Church was hit by a pitch, R.J. Yeager singled to put men at the corners with no one out. Three pitches later, Jimmy Crooks tied the score with an RBI fielder's choice. Then, Chris Rotondo doubled to the gap in left center, allowing Crooks to motor all the way from first to give Peoria their first lead, 2-1.

Two innings later, the Chiefs tacked on an insurance run thanks to a Lake County miscue. Following a walk and a stolen base, Rotondo stood at second when Osvaldo Tovalin grounded to third. Captains third baseman Dayan Frias uncorked a throw in the dirt to allow Rotondo to score, boosting the Peoria lead to 3-1.

The Chiefs appeared on their way to their 13th win in their last 17 tries, but DeLauter's heroics ended the contest. Andrew Marrero was tagged with the tough luck loss. The right-hander allowed just one earned run over 1 1/3 innings pitched.

Peoria fell to 58-53 with the loss but remain 3.5 games up on Beloit and Wisconsin for the final playoff spot after both clubs lost Friday evening.

The Chiefs will make up Thursday's rainout with a doubleheader Saturday. Game one is set for a 4:00 PM EST/3:00 PM CST first pitch.

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