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Chiefs Break up Perfect Game Bid in Ninth, Fall 8-5

May 23, 2024 - Midwest League (MWL)
Peoria Chiefs News Release

PEORIA, IL - Through eight innings, the Chiefs were on the wrong side of Midwest League history. In the ninth, the Chiefs broke up a perfect game and scored five times to make it interesting, before falling 8-5 to Cedar Rapids.

After Kernels starter C.J. Culpepper tossed six perfect innings, reliever Gabriel Yanez went six up and six down over two perfect frames. In the ninth, Cedar Rapids turned to closer Ricardo Velez, who entered play with a 0.84 ERA on the year. The right-hander surrendered a lead-off walk to Joshua Baez to drop the perfect game. The next batter, William Sullivan, laced a single to right field to scrap the no-hitter.

The Chiefs went on to score five runs against the Cedar Rapids closer. After Sullivan singled, Graysen Tarlow walked and Zach Levenson drove Baez with a groundout to make the score 8-1. An error brought home another run and Osvaldo Tovalin plated two runs with a double to cut the deficit to 8-4.

Following a pitching change, Darlin Moquete extended the game with a single to make the score 8-5. Juan Mendez ended the threat by striking out Brody Moore to leave the tying run in the on-deck circle.

Cedar Rapids did all of their offensive damage in the middle innings. After four scoreless innings from Chiefs starter Brycen Mautz, the Kernels got on the board in the fifth. With runners at second and third, Luke Keaschall singled in a pair to make it 2-0. Mautz was lifted following the single and was ultimately tagged with the loss.

In the sixth, Jose Salas delivered a big blow. The switch batter connected on a three-run homer to make it 5-0. An inning later, the Kernels tacked on three more insurance tallies that later proved to be significant. Rayne Doncon knocked in two with a hit to make it 7-0. Then, a Jay Harry hit made it 8-0.

Culpepper tied a career high with eight strikeouts on Thursday. He departed from the game after throwing 66 pitches. Culpepper's win was his second of the year.

Game four of the series is scheduled for Friday night at 7:05 p.m. Left-hander Quinn Mathews will pitch in his second High-A game of the season. He struck out a Midwest League-high 11 batters in his debut.

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