April 17, 2014

Omaha Storm Chasers win Triple A championship

The Omaha Storm Chasers are the 2013 Triple-A National Champions, by defeating the Durham Bulls by a score of 2-1. This is the first Triple-A National Championship that Omaha has captured as a member of the Pacific Coast League, and second Triple-A Championship overall in team history.

Storm Chasers starter Chris Dwyer retired the first 20 Bulls batters he faced in the game, going 6.2 scoreless innings before allowing a base hit to Tim Beckham with two outs in the seventh. Dwyer went seven innings allowing just the one hit to Beckham and struck out eight.

The Omaha offense scored both of their runs in the game as part of two-out rallies scoring the first run of the game off former Royals propsect Jake Odorizzi in the second, who has not allowed any runs in his 14.0 innings in the 2013 postseason, as Lane Adams doubled and Manuel Pina singled him home. The Chasers added a much need insurance run in the sixth as Pina drew a two-out walk followed by singles by Paulo Orlando and Irving Falu, who singled in the decisive run in his 25th career postseason game as a Storm Chaser. Falu is the only player who has appeared in all of the last three postseasons for Omaha.

With the win by the Chasers, the Pacific Coast League improves to 5-3 in winner-take-all Championships against the International League since 2006. Omaha finished the season with a 77-75 record, including going 7-1 in the postseason. The only other Triple-A Championship in team history came when the Omaha Royals defeated the Rochester Red Wings in the 1990 Triple-A Classic 4-1 in the best-of-seven series.

AUDIO Game recap from Jake Ryan (1:00)

Storm Chasers claim PCL baseball championship

The Omaha Storm Chasers defeated the Salt Lake Bees 10-5 in Game 4 of the Pacific Coast League Championship, clinching a 3-1 series win and the second PCL Championship in franchise history. Omaha is the tenth team since 1963 to win two PCL Championships in the span of three seasons.

After suffering a 9-0 shutout loss Friday night, the Storm Chasers responded with one of the best offensive outputs of not only the postseason but the entire season with ten runs and 19 hits.

Storm Chasers starter Brian Sanches finished off a remarkable season for Omaha by tossing five innings allowing just two runs to pick up his second win of the postseason, and team-leading 12th win overall including the regular season and postseason.

With a 70-74 regular season record the Storm Chasers have the second fewest regular season wins of any PCL champion since 1963, when playoffs began consistently, and the champ with the fewest wins was the 1984 Edmonton Trappers with 69 wins when the PCL still used the half system for playoff qualifying. Omaha won six of seven games in the postseason, and eight of their final nine games overall to qualify for the postseason and claim the title.

The Storm Chasers will face the champion of the International League, the Durham Bulls, in the Triple-A National Championship on Tuesday night. First pitch is set for 6:00 p.m. CDT, and the game will be broadcast on the NBC Sports Network.

Storm Chasers now one win away from PCL championship

GAME 1 – OMAHA 3-2 over SALT LAKE

The Omaha Storm Chasers scored a run in each of the final two innings to earn a 3-2 win in Game 1 of the Pacific Coast League Championship Series against the Salt Lake Bees, in a game that was suspended in the second inning on Tuesday night.

The Storm Chasers trailed 2-1 in the bottom of the seventh, when Rey Navarro delivered a two-out single and scored on a double down the line by Manny Pina to tie the game. In the next inning, Irving Falu led off the eighth with a single then was moved into scoring position by a sac bunt by Christian Colon. Ben Broussard provided the game-winning hit with a single to centerfield.

GAME 2 – OMAHA win 2-1 over SALT LAKE

Brian Fletcher’s leadoff solo homer in the bottom of the ninth gave Omaha a 2-1 win over the Bees and also gave the Chasers a 2-0 series lead in the 2013 Pacific Coast League Championship with the final three games remaining in Salt Lake. Omaha will look to finish off their second PCL Championship in franchise history Friday at Spring Mobile Ballpark.

Fletcher’s game-winner capped the Storm Chasers fourth straight come-from-behind win and fifth straight win overall in the PCL Playoffs.

The Storm Chasers tied the score at 1-1 in the seventh on an RBI single by Rey Navarro’s four RBIs in the 2013 PCL Playoffs is tied for the team lead with Ben Broussard and Gorkys Hernandez. Navarro is batting .429 in five games this postseason, and his six hits are also tied for the team lead with Broussard and Irving Falu.

In Game 3 Omaha will send out Justin Marks, who will face off with Salt Lake right-hander Jarrett Grube. First pitch from Spring Mobile Ballpark on Friday is set for 7:35 p.m. CDT

8th inning rally sends Omaha to PCL championship game

Gorkys Hernandez’ three-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning completed both an improbable 7-6 comeback win as well as a series sweep of the American Conference Championship for the Omaha Storm Chasers over the Oklahoma City RedHawks. Omaha has advanced to the Pacific Coast League Championship Series for a third consecutive season, joining the Sacramento River Cats (2007-2009) as the only teams to pull off the feat since the PCL became a 16-team league in 1998.

Omaha dug itself a 5-0 early hole to the RedHawks led by a pair of two-run homers, in the first inning by centerfielder George Springer and in the third inning by designated hitter Japhet Amador, both off Storm Chasers starter Justin Marks. The lead reached 6-2 after Oklahoma City leftfielder Eric Thames smacked a solo homer in the fifth to knock Marks out of the game.

Hernandez’s game-winning homer in the eighth inning was set up by two-out walks by Paulo Orlando and Mitch Canham. In 34 games with Omaha this season Gorkys hit just two home runs. The five-run comeback win was the largest for Omaha this season.

The Pacific Coast League Championship will pit the Storm Chasers against either the Salt Lake Bees or the Las Vegas 51s, and will begin Tuesday at Werner Park with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. Game 2 of the series will take place Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. with the final three games played on the road to decide the PCL crown.

Five-run inning pushes Omaha past OKC in PCL playoffs

The Omaha Storm Chasers took a commanding 2-0 lead in the American Conference Championship with a 7-4 win over the Oklahoma City RedHawks, powered by a five-run sixth inning. The next two games of the series will be played at Werner Park with the Chasers seeking a third straight Pacific Coast League Championship round appearance.

After Omaha blew an early 2-0 lead with Oklahoma City scoring four runs in the fourth inning, the Storm Chasers offense responded with a big inning of their own in the sixth. A RBI double by Gorkys Hernandez tied the game at 4-4, then the next batter Irving Falu provided the game-winning hit with a two-RBI double. The seven runs were the most Omaha has scored at Oklahoma City all season, with the previous high being five runs.