Storm Chasers Pop Express 9-2
ROUND ROCK, Texas - The Omaha Storm Chasers (47-55) flew past the Round Rock Express (58-43) by a final score of 9-2 in Tuesday night's series opener at Dell Diamond. The visitors scored early and often to take a quick lead in the series with the convincing victory.
Omaha LHP Jake Kalish (7-5, 4.46) earned the win after 5.0 strong innings out of the bullpen. The lefty held the Express to just two runs on six hits while picking up a strikeout in the win. Round Rock LHP Framber Valdez (1-2, 3.12) suffered the loss after giving up five runs, only three of which were earned, on three hits in 3.2 innings of work. Valdez racked up six strikeouts but issued five walks.
Omaha opened the scoring in the top of the first inning as CF Brett Phillips worked a leadoff walk prior to a Jorge Bonifacio single. In the next at-bat, Phillips and Bonifacio attempted a double-steal that resulted in Bonifacio getting caught in a rundown as Phillips sprinted home with the first run of the game.
In the third, Phillips again worked a walk before SS Erick Mejia followed up with a walk of his own. An ensuing two-run double off the bat of 1B Ryan O'Hearn extended the Omaha lead to 3-0. The visitors put two more runs on the board the following inning as 2B Jecksson Flores jumped aboard a fielding error to begin the frame. After a Chase d'Arnaud walk, C Nate Esposito bunted both runners 90 feet closer to home. Phillips then scored a run via a groundout, then Mejia singled home Omaha's fifth run of the night.
Round Rock got on the board in the home half of the fourth inning thanks to a pair of base hits from DH Josh Rojas and LF Taylor Jones. O'Hearn responded with a solo homer in the top of the fifth to extend the gap to 6-1.
E-Train 3B Jack Mayfield connected for a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth, but Omaha again responded with a pair of runs an inning later. Bonifacio singled before O'Hearn worked a walk. Back-to-back singles by Flores and d'Arnaud made it an 8-2 ballgame. The final Storm Chasers blow of the night came in the eighth inning via a Bonifacio solo home run.
The two foes meet again on Wednesday night as Omaha LHP Eric Skoglund (1-2, 7.29) is scheduled to face a Round Rock pitcher yet to be announced. First pitch at Dell Diamond is set for 7:05 p.m.
For more information on the Express, visit RRExpress.com or call (512) 255-2255. Keep up with the Express on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and join the conversation during our historic 20th season using #20STROng.
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