Chicago, IL (7M7AP): Victor Wilfredo's two home runs and five RBI and Pete Lee's perfect ninth inning helped the Las Vegas Gamblers (1-0) defeat the Chicago Maulers (0-1), 11-7, this morning.
The Chicago Maulers' first playoff appearance in team history started out well as they put the first run on the board in the bottom of the first inning off of a single by shortstop Stuart Rhodes, scoring Maulers leadoff hitter, Louis Bieser.
Las Vegas responded in the top of the second inning, taking the 3-1 lead off of doubles by Javier Mercedes and lead off hitter Tommy Knoblauch, as well as a sac fly by Alfredo.
The Gamblers continued to rough up rookie pitcher Sal Long (0-1, 9.53 ERA) in the top of the fourth inning, tagging him for three more runs off of a two-run homer by Wilfredo and a solo home run by catcher Matt DePaula.
The Maulers cut the lead to two runs with a double by Bieser, scoring first baseman Jake Cooper and second baseman Vince Wood.
Chicago's problematic bullpen struck again with Santiago Candelaria giving up three runs on four hits in two innings, as well as aging long-reliever Glenallen Williamson giving up a run on three hits and one inning, giving the Gamblers the 11-7 lead in the top of the ninth.
The Maulers scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning on a three-run home run by Orber Rios, but it was too little, too late for Chicago. Las Vegas took the game, 11-7, and the one-game series lead.
PLAYER OF THE GAME:
3-FOR-4, TWO HOME RUNS, FIVE RBI