Jorge Bonifacio clubbed a 2-out, 2-strike Grand Slam in the 10th inning, sending the Chasers to a 6-4 win on Wednesday night at Autozone Park.
Omaha opened the scoring in the top of the 1st against Memphis starter Mike Mayers; Whit Merrifield laced a 1-out double to left, Rey Fuentes beat out an infield single, Hunter Dozier walked, and Jorge Bonifacio singled in a run to give the Chasers a 1-0 lead.
Memphis tied it in the bottom of the 2nd; Jose Martinez walked, went to 2nd on a single, advanced to 3rd on a balk by Chasers starter John Lannan, and scored on a 2-out infield single by Matt Williams.
The Chasers went back in front in the top of the 3rd, thanks to Rey Fuentes and a defensive miscue. Fuentes drew a walk, stole 2nd, and came around to score on an infield single by Jorge Bonifacio and a throwing error by Redbirds first baseman Efren Navarro. It was 2-1 Omaha.
Randal Grichuk re-tied it with a solo home run in the last of the 3rd, making it 2-2.
Both offenses struggled to break the tie; Mayers worked 4.2 innings, allowing 2 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits, with 8 strikeouts and 2 walks. Thomas Lee threw the next 3.1 innings for Memphis, and was excellent, allowing just 1 hit.
Lannan went 6.2 innings, holding Memphis to 2 runs, 7 hits, and 2 walks. He struck out 2. Andrew Edwards relieved Lannan with 2 out in the 7th, stranding a pair of inherited runners to keep the game tied. Edwards then tossed a scoreless 8th inning as well.
Juan Gonzalez worked a flawless top of the 9th for the Redbirds, and Edward Mujica pitched the bottom of the 9th for Omaha, sending the game to extra innings.
That set the stage for Bonifacio’s heroics in the 10th. Gonzalez (L, 3-1) struggled in his 2nd relief inning; he walked Parker Morin, and after Orlando Calixte pinch-ran and stole 2nd, Gonzalez intentionally walked Whit Merrifield, and after Memphis failed to turn a double play and Hunter Dozier walked to load the bases, Jorge Bonifacio smashed a 2-2 slider over the wall in left field, giving Omaha a 6-2 lead.
Mujica (W, 1-0) pitched the bottom of the 10th to close out his first Storm Chaser victory, although Anthony Garcia hit a 2-run homer to make it a 6-4 game.
The Chasers continue the series in Memphis tomorrow. RHP Christian Binford (2-8, 5.81) will take the mound for Omaha, while RHP Deck McGuire (6-9, 5.55) will throw for Memphis. First pitch will be at 7:05.