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 Omaha Storm Chasers

Three Homers Power Storm Chasers Back in Win Column

April 13, 2024 - International League (IL)
Omaha Storm Chasers News Release

PAPILLION, NEB. - The Omaha Storm Chasers scored in the first and led the rest of the way, as three home runs helped power a 13-6 win and secure a series win over the Gwinnett Stripers, Saturday afternoon at Werner Park.

Backwards Day at the ballpark had a backwards start to the game, with the first runs of the game scoring on an errant pickoff throw and balk, for a quick 2-0 Omaha lead. After Drew Waters and Michael Massey scored in that first inning, CJ Alexander brought Massey home in the third inning with a two-run homer, his fourth of the season to tie for the team lead and move the Chasers ahead 4-0.

The very next inning, Nate Eaton added his first home run of the season, a two-run shot that scored Ryan Fitzgerald from first base for a 6-0 Storm Chasers lead after just four innings.

Omaha starting pitcher William Fleming cruised through the first 4.0 innings, as the righty held Gwinnett to three hits and two walks, while striking out 3 on just 48 pitches. However, the Stripers figured out Fleming the third time through the order, as he allowed hits to five of his first six batters in the top of the fifth inning and was knocked out of the game.

Walter Pennington followed Fleming and got the second out of the inning, but then surrendered a game-tying home run to Gwinnett's Luke Williams, knotting the game at 6-6 in the top of the fifth inning, with the first five runs of the frame charged to Fleming. Pennington ended up striking out the last batter he faced in the fifth, then the lefty struck out the side in the fourth inning. Pennington's 40.48% strikeout rate (17 K/42 BF) now ranks third among Triple-A pitchers (min. 10.0 IP), while his 14.34 K/9 ranks third in that group.

The game did not stay tied for long as Omaha countered Gwinnett's 6-run inning with four runs in the bottom of the fifth to jump ahead and the Storm Chasers led the rest of the way. John Rave and Cam Devanney drew bases loaded walks, then Fitzgerald singled in a run and Eaton brought another run home on a fielder's choice, with the four runs scoring on just one hit, three walks and a hit batter.

While Omaha couldn't score in the sixth inning, Eaton singled home Devanney in the seventh for a run of insurance, then Brian O'Keefe connected on his second home run of the week in the eighth inning, an opposite-field two-run shot that brought the score to the 13-6 that held to be final.

Pennington added a scoreless seventh inning to finish 2.2 innings and earn his second win of the year. Will Klein followed out of the bullpen and continued his dominant stretch on the mound with 2.0 scoreless innings to finish the afternoon and keep the Stripers off the board. Klein's 7.0 scoreless innings to open the season rank as the third-most for a Triple-A reliever and are the seventh-most of any arm at the level right now.

With a series win clinched, Omaha will try and win five on six on Sunday afternoon, as right-hander Jonathan Bowlan heads to the mound for the Storm Chasers with a 2:05 p.m. CT first pitch at Werner Park.

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International League Stories from April 13, 2024

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