May 9, 2013 - Pacific Coast League (PCL) - Omaha Storm Chasers
Reno, NV - Adam Eaton walked to force in the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning as Reno defeated Omaha, 7-5, Wednesday night in the opener of a four-game set at Aces Ballpark. The Storm Chasers have dropped two in a row and now sit 1 =C21/2 games behind Memphis in the American Conference North Division.
Zeke Spruill of the Aces worked seven solid innings in his second Triple-A start but did not figure in the decision after yielding three runs on seven hits and leaving with a 5-3 lead. Eury De La Rosa took over to begin the eighth but did not record an out, as he gave up a pair of hits and issued a walk before departing and being replaced by Warner Madrigal. The veteran righty, who was injured and did not pitch last year, struck out Irving Falu and Brett Hayes with the bases loaded but was burned by Willy Taveras, who singled home Xavier Nady and pinch-runner Paulo Orlando to get the game even.
Dan Wheeler assumed the hill in the home half but found immediate trouble after a leadoff single by Juan Rivera that was followed by an Alfredo Marte double. One out later, Ed Easley was intentionally passed to fill the sacks and left-hander Donnie Joseph was called on to face the lefty-swinging Eaton, who is with the Aces on a major league rehab assignment. Last year's Pacific Coast League batting champ and MVP drew a free pass on five pitches to push pinch-runner Tony Campana across with the decisive run before Chris Owings singled home Marte to provide a two-run cushion for Madrigal, who worked around a leadoff walk in the ninth to preserve the victory and pick up his first win of the season.
Anthony Seratelli scored the game's first run in the second inning on a fielding error by Matt Davidson. However, the Reno third baseman made up for it in the third with a two-out triple that chased home former Omaha first baseman/designated hitter Kila Ka'aihue to knot the score at one.
Easley led off the home fifth with a walk before Omaha starter Nate Adcock hit Eaton, apparently in retaliation for an aggressive slide earlier in the game, and was then ejected along with manager Mike Jirschele, who argued vociferously, to no avail, in support of his right-hander. George Sherrill came on in relief and was greeted by an Owings double that scored both runners to put the hosts in the lead for the first time. Owings would steal third and score on a deep fly ball by Brad Snyder to complete the three-run rally for the Aces, who won for just the fifth time in 17 home games.
The visitors drew within 4-3 in the sixth on Falu's two-out, two-run single but Reno got one of the runs back in the next inning on Ka'aihue's seventh home run of the year, the first earned run allowed this year by Storm Chasers hurler Blaine Boyer.
The series continues with a twin bill on Thursday as Omaha will send southpaw Justin Marks to the hill in game one and an as yet to be determined starter for the second contest while Reno will counter with right-hander Chase Anderson in the first game and righty Garrett Mock in the nightcap. Coverage of the doubleheader gets underway at 5:40 pm and can be heard locally on 1180 Zone 2 The Deuce and online at omahastormchasers.com.