Freddy Sandoval belted a lead off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift Salt Lake to a 2-1 triumph over Omaha Sunday evening in the third of a four-game set at Spring Mobile Ballpark. The Storm Chasers dipped to 66-55 and saw their lead in the American Conference North Division sliced to four games over now-second place Memphis, which shut out Tucson earlier in the day.
The Bees pushed across the game’s first run in the first inning on Jeff Baisley’s run-scoring hit but couldn’t add to their lead with runners at the corners and nobody out in the second . Jarrod Dyson’s lead off long ball, his second in as many days, got the game even in the fourth and gave him eight hits in 12 at-bats to that point in the series.
Omaha starter Vin Mazzaro yielded just a lone run on seven hits and matched a season-high with 10 strikeouts but was not involved the decision. He was removed after a two-out walk to Alexi Amarista, his third of the game, with two outs in the seventh before Zach Miner came on to record the final out of the inning.
The veteran right-hander then stranded a runner at second base in the eighth but gave up the decisive blow to Sandoval, who left the yard for the first time this season. The round tripper was the first run Miner had allowed in 12 innings over his last five outings and handed him his first loss with Omaha.
Williams held the Omaha offense, minus the injured Clint Robinson and David Lough, to five hits while walking one and striking out eight in the complete-game victory. He retired the side in order in four frames, including the eighth and ninth innings, and did not allow a runner past first base after Dyson’s home run.