A series of Omaha miscues turned a two-run lead into a six-run loss Tuesday night at Werner Park, spoiling a strong performance by Storm Chasers starting pitcher Mike Montgomery. Iowa scored three runs in the seventh and five more in the eighth, rallying for the 11-5 win.
The turning point of the game took place in the top of the seventh inning, with one out and the bases full and the Storm Chasers clinging to a 5-4 lead. Iowa catcher Chris Robinson took a hack at a Blake Johnson offering and rolled an easy double play ball to shortstop Mike Aviles, but after a clean relay to second for the second out, Johnny Giavotella’s toss to first short-hopped Clint Robinson and skipped toward the Iowa dugout. Two runs came home on the play, adding to an inning that began with the second fielding error of the night by third baseman Lance Zawadzki.
Omaha starting pitcher Mike Montgomery was the story early on, striking out the first three batters he faced and punching out a season-high eight Cubs hitters in his five innings of work. He did allow a pair of runs on two hits and five walks, though only one run was earned. Three Chasers relievers, including Johnson, losing pitcher Robinson Tejeda (0-1) and Blaine Hardy, gave up nine runs (six earned) on 13 hits over four innings. The four Storm Chasers errors equaled a season high.
Early on, the Storm Chasers looked like they were poised for a solid victory. Lorenzo Cain kicked off the Omaha scoring with a solo home run in the second, and three-straight RBI base-hits in the fourth put the Chasers ahead 4-2. Two innings later, catcher Manny Pina belted his second home run of the year and first at Werner Park, making it a 5-3 game. Pina finished the game 2-for-4 with two runs, two RBI, a home run and a double.
Story courtesy of OmahaStormChasers.com