GENEVA – Trey Martin’s picked a good day to hit his first home run of the year, as he connected on the Cougars’ first grand slam of the season. Martin’s bases-clearing homer was the difference in the ballgame as the Cougars (35-17) swept the Peoria Chiefs (27-24) by a score of 5-4 at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark on Tuesday.
Martin’s slam came in the seventh inning, which featured a lot of momentum changes for both teams. Trailing 2-1, Jordan Hankins doubled to put runners at second and third. David Bote came to the plate with a chance to give the Cougars the lead, but Jacob Rogers was picked off at third base. Bote drew a walk to put runners at first and second, before Shawon Dunston Jr. recorded an infield single to load the bases. Then Martin pulled a 2-2 pitch over the left field wall giving the Cougars a 5-2 lead.
Peoria chipped away with a run in the eighth inning on Carson Kelly’s solo shot. Tyler Bremer took the mound as the Chiefs continued to threaten with two on and one out, but a strike out by Michael Schulze was followed with Mason Katz being caught at third base to end the inning with the Cougars leading 5-3.
The ninth quickly became dramatic as Peoria loaded the bases with one out. Bremer then walked Kelly to force in a run, bringing the Chiefs within one. Peoria wasn’t able to finish off the rally as Mason Katz and Kenny Peoples-Walls both struck out to end the ballgame.
The first run of the contest came in the opening inning as Ben Carhart looped a single to score Jake Hannemann for a 1-0 Cougars’ lead. Peoria scattered runs in the third and in the sixth.
Michael Wagner (1-1) earned the win allowing one run on four hits through one and one-third innings. Brandon Lee (0-1) suffered the loss allowing the grand slam during a one and two-third inning outing. Bremer picked up his third save of the year.
The Cougars will now start a six-game road trip beginning in Clinton. Wednesday’s game will feature a pitching matchup of Paul Blackburn (5-1, 2.37) for the Cougars and Carlos Misell (5-3, 3.74) of the LumberKings. First pitch is at 6:30 p.m.