Former Cubs great and MLB Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg won his managerial debut on Thursday night as his Peoria Chiefs knocked off the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 9-5 on a cold night in the Fox Valley.
The game time temperature was 33-degrees and wind chills brought that mark down considerably, forcing both teams to simply survive. Peoria starter Billy Muldowney pitched five solid innings and struck out 9 for the win.
Wisconsin committed 7 errors defensively and while the Timber Rattlers tallied 11 hits, they struck out 16 times.
Game 2 of the series is scheduled for Friday night.
Wisconsin's other minor league team, the Beloit Snappers were scheduled to open their season at home against Cedar Rapids but decided to postpone it because of the cold weather.