De Aza Does It for Chiefs

De Aza Does It for Chiefs

Published on July 28, 2017

Story and Photo by Kevin Van Pelt

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Syracuse Chiefs won 5-4 in walk-off fashion when Alejandro De Aza hit a three-run homer Thursday night to beat the Louisville Bats at NBT Bank Stadium.

De Aza’s home run was his fourth of the season and he finished the game with three hits. The former Major League player credits his in game experience as a reason he can come through in a clutch moment.

“It’s just more playing time,” De Aza said after the game. “I get more opportunities here which allows me to see the ball better.”

The Chiefs opened the scoring in the second inning when catcher Spencer Kiebloom hit a solo home run to center field.

The Bats tied the game in the third, but the Chiefs took the lead back in the bottom of the inning. Zach Collier hit his first home of the season for the Chiefs, in just his fourth game with the team since being called up from the AA Harrisburg Senators.

After both teams were held scoreless in the fourth and fifth innings, Louisville took the lead after a two-run inning that started off with a home run by Sebastian Elizaide. Later in the inning, second baseman Alexander Blandino was hit by a pitch and scored on a double down the left field line by left fielder Tyler Goeddel.
Starting pitcher for the Chiefs, Jaron Long, had a quality start going six innings and giving up three earned runs on 99 pitches. However, he left the game as the pitcher on record for the loss.

In the eighth, the Bats added an insurance run after Brandon Dixon belted a line drive home run off Kevin Jepson giving Louisville a two-run lead.

Jimmy Herget came in for the save and quickly gave up a double to Neftali Soto then walked Brandon Snyder.

Kiebloom was on deck for the Chiefs, with a home run hit earlier in the game. Syracuse manager, Billy Gardner Jr. called for a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners. After two failed attempts, Kiebloom was told to swing, and struck out looking.

Gardner said that one of his fears of having Kiebloom bunt in that situation was the fact first base could be left open for Louisville to walk the next batter, De Aza.

“We knew their guy has a really good slider and is tough on righies, so we really wanted to have De Aza have a chance and it worked out for us,” Gardner said.

This was the fourth walk off of the season for the Chiefs and 37th win of the season. The next game for the Chiefs is scheduled Friday night at home against the Gwinnett Braves.