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Bats Tie Series with 5-3 Win Over Omaha

June 21, 2024 - International League (IL)
Louisville Bats News Release

PAPILLION, Nebraska - The Louisville Bats tied the series against the Storm Chasers with their 5-3 win on Friday night at Werner Park.

P.J. Higgins led the way at the plate, notching the Bats' third four-hit game this season and adding two RBI. Hernán Pérez remained on fire with two hits and an RBI, while Levi Jordan tallied a double and his own RBI.

Brandon Leibrandt pitched 4.2 innings and allowed three runs, all coming in the fifth frame, and the lefty tied his season-high with seven strikeouts. Brooks Kriske, Yosver Zulueta, and Tony Santillan combined to shut out Omaha the rest of the way, recording seven additional strikeouts as a group.

After both Leibrandt and Chasers starter Jonathan Bowlan (L, 6-4) posted zeros in the first inning, the Bats began the scoring in the second frame. Higgins tallied his 18th double of the season and Peyton Burdick drew a walk to set up Pérez with two on and just one out. The veteran infielder took advantage with a single that bounced off Cam Devanney's glove and into left field, allowing Higgins to score and Burdick to get to third.

Erik Gonzàlez came up next and grounded out on a ball that Burdick scored on, and Jordan followed with a double to bring Pérez around and give Louisville an early 3-0 advantage.

Leibrandt kept Omaha quiet again in the bottom half, and the Bats continued their momentum at the plate in the third. Edwin Ríos led off with a walk, advanced to second on a groundout, and scored on another hit by Higgins to increase Louisville's lead to 4-0.

The Bats lefty cruised through the next two frames, striking out four to get his total tally to six for the night as he faced the minimum through four innings. In the top of the fifth, Louisville added another run nearly the same way they did previously. Ríos led off with a walk, advanced to second with Hinds reaching first on a hit-by-pitch, and scored on Higgins' third hit of the night, putting the Bats up 5-0.

In the bottom half, the Chasers finally got going offensively. CJ Alexander doubled, Nick Pratto singled to score Alexander, and Tyler Gentry later homered to bring Omaha within two at 5-3. After Omaha added two more singles against Leibrandt, Pat Kelly called on Brooks Kriske to limit the damage and the righty struck out Nate Eaton to end the threat.

The next few innings were quiet offensively on both sides, as Kriske (W, 5-0) pitched a scoreless sixth and Yosver Zulueta put up zeros in the seventh and eighth with three strikeouts.

Santillan came on in the ninth to attempt his second consecutive save. After striking out Alexander to begin his outing, the closer gave up singles with a Pratto lineout in between to put two on with two outs. The righty didn't waver, getting Gentry to chase at a perfect slider to finalize the 5-3 Louisville win and his IL-leading 13th save.

The Bats (36-36) and Storm Chasers (49-22) will play game five of the series tomorrow, Saturday, June 22, with the first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. Nick Curran will be on the call for 1450/96.1 WXVW.

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