October 24, 2014

‘Chasers top Tucson

The Omaha Storm Chasers (23-22) secured a series split against the Tucson Padres (25-22) as left-hander Chris Dwyer limited the Padres offense to one run over eight innings, after the T-Pads had scored 20 runs in the first three games of the series, in a 5-1 win in front of the fourth largest crowd at WernerPark this season (5,927).

The eight innings for Dwyer was the longest start by any Storm Chasers pitcher this season, as he posted his seventh outing in 2013 that he has allowed two runs or less, and the southpaw did not allow a hit in his final 13 batters faced. Dwyer’s two longest starts in his Triple-A career have come against the Padres, as he tossed a nine-inning complete game against in Tucson last year on August 11. Dwyer is the first pitcher on the Omaha staff to four wins this season, and the Chasers have been victorious in six of his nine starts.

Infielder Christian Colon provided the spark on the offense for the Storm Chasers as he collected his second three-hit game as well as his second three-RBI game of the season. Over his last 12 games Colon has raised his average from .211 to .263 with 17 hits, and has knocked in nine RBI during that span. In his first 26 games Colon had just 23 hits and nine RBI, and the former first round selection has had six of his 11 multi-hits games in the last dozen games.

The Chasers did the damage against a member of the 2011 Pacific Coast League Championship team in pitcher Sean O’Sullivan, who was making his first appearance back at WernerPark since he was traded last June. O’Sullivan gave up a two-out RBI single to Xavier Nady in the third inning, his 32nd┬áhit in his last 21 games, and let the final run across to his former team on a wild pitch in the sixth inning.

During the final three games of the series with Tucson, the Storm Chasers were showing support for their PCL teammate in Oklahoma City by holding silent auctions with all proceeds going to tornado relief, as the RedHawks stadium is located just 15 minutes away from the devastated area of Moore, Oklahoma. During the three games, the team raised nearly $6,000 auctioning such items as a George Brett signed replica jersey and signed baseballs from MLB players/managers such as Joe Torre, Ryne Sandberg, Matt Harvey and Alex Gordon. The Storm Chasers will play Oklahoma City next week with a ceremony planned where the exact total raised will be announced.

Before the series in Oklahoma City, the Storm Chasers head to New Orleans for their second and final trip to the Big Easy this season. In the first matchup of a five-game series, which includes a suspended game from May 1, Omaha will send out former Louisiana State University standout Ryan Verdugo (2-2, 4.50 ERA) to face off with Zephyrs right-hander Jacob Turner (3-4, 4.47 ERA).