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Walk-Off Homer Sinks Chiefs in First-Half Finale

Chiefs finish first half at 28-38
June 23, 2022

South Bend, IN – A three-run, walk-off homer from South Bend catcher Pablo Aliendo pushed the Cubs past the Chiefs 9-6 on Thursday. With the loss, the Chiefs wrapped up the first half at 28-38, while South Bend finished 34-32. After a clean first inning, the Chiefs jumped out to

South Bend, IN – A three-run, walk-off homer from South Bend catcher Pablo Aliendo pushed the Cubs past the Chiefs 9-6 on Thursday. With the loss, the Chiefs wrapped up the first half at 28-38, while South Bend finished 34-32.

After a clean first inning, the Chiefs jumped out to an early lead on the strength of a three-run second. With Francisco Hernandez at second, Carlos Soto singled into center to make it 1-0 Peoria. Later in the inning, Peoria loaded the bases for Mike Antico. Antico poked a two-run single to left to push the Chiefs in front, 3-0. For Antico, he now has 32 RBI’s on the year to lead the club. The second inning ambush knocked Cubs starter Jordan Wicks out of the game after 50 pitches through just 1.2 innings.

In the bottom of the frame, the Cubs answered with a pair of runs on a two-run shot from Jake Washer to make it a 3-2 contest. From there, Peoria starter Wilfredo Pereira settled in and did not allow another tally over five innings of work.

After a Soto sac fly in the third made it 4-2, the Chiefs extended their lead in the sixth. With two outs in the frame, LJ Jones recorded his 18th double of the year to plate Tyler Reichenborn and improve the Peoria lead to 5-2.

Leonardo Taveras entered from the Chiefs bullpen in the bottom of the sixth nursing a three-run cushion. After the first two batters reached in the inning, Jonathan Sierra brought home a tally with an RBI single to shrink the Chiefs advantage to 5-3. After a shaky start, Taveras settled in. He retired seven of the final eight batters that he faced and tied a career high with five strikeouts.

With two outs in the eighth, the Chiefs turned the ball over to Andre Granillo. After Sierra singled to place Cubs at first and second, Aliendo dug in. The catcher grounded one sharply to Peoria third baseman Osvaldo Tovalin. Tovalin gloved the ball cleanly but his throw from foul territory sailed away and allowed both South Bend runners to score to tie the game, 5-5.

After the Chiefs stranded the go-ahead run at second in the top of the ninth, South Bend looked poised to walk it off in regulation. With runners at first and second with nobody out, Yohendrick Pinango flied out to deep left, allowing both runners to tag and advance. Then, with one out, Caleb Knight hit a slow roller to Tovalin at third. In an impressive play, Tovalin gloved and quickly fired to the plate to retire Fabian Pertuz on a bang-bang play. With two outs in the inning, Granillo whiffed Owen Caissie to send the game to extras.

The Chiefs quickly cashed in their ghost runner in the top of tenth to regain the lead. An Antico ground out advanced Noah Mendlinger to third. Reichenborn, the next batter, grounded one into left to make it a 6-5 lead. A double play later ended the inning and the Chiefs scored just the one tally.

South Bend wasted no time in the home half of the tenth. With their assigned runner at second, Washer launched the first pitch of the inning off the center field wall to knot the score at 6-6. Then, after an intentional walk to Sierra, Aliendo ended the game when he hit a 1-2 pitch over the left field fence.

The series continues Friday, as the Chiefs open the second half with Dionys Rodriguez on the mound. First pitch is set for 7:05 EST/6:05 CST.