Division Champs!

Geneva, IL – The Peoria Chiefs fell behind 4-0 but rallied to win 8-5 Saturday night to capture the First Half Western Division Title over the Kane County Cougars at Elfstrom Stadium. With a record of 41-27 the Chiefs head into the final game of the half with their first title since 2002 all wrapped up.

Kane County jumped all over Chiefs starter Scott Taylor in the bottom of the first. Nick Blasi drew a leadoff walk and Wes Long followed with a double before Jose Pineda delivered a sac fly for a 1-0 Cougars lead.

Jeff Baisley stepped in and crushed his 13th homer of the season to center for a 3-0 lead. After a groundout, Steve Kleen doubled and scored on a Frank Martinez single. Kane County loaded the bases as they batted around by Taylor pitched out of it trailing 4-0 after one inning.

The Chiefs chipped away in the second inning when Kyle Reynolds led off with a homer against Ron Madej. Alberto Garcia followed with a single to left and advanced to second on a groundout. After a walk, Mark Reed made it 4-2 with a single before Madej got out of the inning.

In the third the Chiefs took their first lead of the game by knocking Madej out of the game. The entire rally came with two outs as Reynolds walked, Garcia singled and Jake Muyco walked to load the bases. Brad Kilby relieved Madej and gave up a two-run single to Jonathon Mota to tie the game 4-4.

Robinson Chirinos singled home Muyco for the Chiefs first lead and Mota scored on a wild pitch. Reed added another single as Chirinos scored and the Chiefs capped a five-run inning for a 7-4 lead.

Scott Taylor went three innings and allowed five hits and four runs in a no-decision. He did not come back after the 40 minute rain delay in the fourth inning. Justin Rayborn tossed three shutout innings to pick up the win. Rayborn allowed three hits while striking out four to improve to 4-1.

Matt Avery entered in the seventh inning and allowed one run on three hits and a walk in 1 2/3 innings of work. Ed Campusano came in with the tying run at the plate and two out in the eighth and struck out pinch hitter Raul Padron to end the threat. Campusano completed save number 21 by striking out all three batters he faced in the ninth.

Pepsi Player of the Game

Mark Reed (DH) – Reed picked up three hits and two RBI for the second straight night. The DH also laid down a sacrifice bunt and stole a base while raising his MWL leading batting average to .339.

Notes… Mark Reed and Ryan Norwood each collected three hits for the second straight day…Campusano is tied with three others for the most saves in all of MILB…Peoria has 18 runs and 32 hits over the last two days…Sunday marks the final game of the first half…RH Todd Blackford (6-2) faces RH Jeff Gray (2-5) Sunday at 2:00 PM…The broadcast begins with the pre-game show on www.peoriachiefs.com at 1:45 PM.

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