Walker, Lunn Power Chiefs to Victory in Opener
Peoria, IL - Chiefs third baseman Jordan Walker continued his hot streak Tuesday night, hitting his fifth homer in six games, while Connor Lunn twirled seven innings of one-run baseball in Peoria's 6-1 win over the Cedar Rapids Kernels in the series opener.
The Chiefs scored the first run of the ballgame right out of the gate. Masyn Winn sparked the Chiefs half of the first with a leadoff double to the right center field gap. The speedster advanced to third on flyout to right and then galloped home on an infield groundout from Jhon Torres.
In the third inning, it was Walker who blew the game open. With two men aboard, Walker fell behind 0-2 in the count. After spoiling a tough pitch, Walker blasted a three-run shot that landed on Jefferson Street to push the Peoria lead to 4-0. It was only Walker's second home run at Dozer Park in 2021 and his eighth in a Chiefs uniform.
Chiefs hurler Connor Lunn was on cruise control throughout the night. After giving up two hits in the first inning, Lunn allowed only two baserunners in his final six innings of action. He gave up his only run in the top of the fifth inning on a homer from Kernels outfielder DaShawn Keirsey. Jack Ralston pitched the final two frames of the contest and punched out three batters without allowing a hit.
Peoria added a pair of insurance runs in the middle innings. In the fourth inning, with Tyler Reichenborn at first, the Chiefs perfectly executed a hit and run. Zade Richardson doubled into the right field corner, which allowed Reichenborn to motor all the way home from first. Two frames later, it was Reichenborn again in the middle of the action, as he collected a sac fly that gave Peoria a 6-1 lead, to create the final margin.
The series continues Wednesday at Dozer Park. Wilfredo Pereira, who is second in the High-A Central with a 3.53 ERA, starts for Peoria. The Chiefs will wear their En el Rio jerseys as part of MiLB's COPA initiative. Additionally, all first responders and military personnel, both active and retired, can receive a free ticket at the box office. The box office opens daily at 10:00 a.m.
The Chiefs announced their 2022 schedule on Tuesday. Dozer Park will play host to 66 games next season. The 2022 home opener is set for Tuesday, April 12 against the Great Lakes Loons, the High-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Season ticket packages and promotions will be announced at a later date.
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