Kevin Pucetas was sensational through 4 2/3 scoreless inning of relief work as Omaha rebounded from a slow start to overtake and then hang on to down New Orleans in a wild 11-10 affair Sunday evening in the last of a five-game set at Zephyr Field. The Storm Chasers lifted their record to 76-59, maintained their four-game lead over Memphis with eight to play and reduced their magic number to clinch the division title to four.
Lorenzo Cain’s sacrifice fly plated Jarrod Dyson three batters into the game but the Zephyrs responded in the home half of the frame with Mike Cervenak’s two-out, two-run home run.
A pair of sacrifice flies and Vinny Rottino’s two-run single during a four-run second inning extended the hosts lead to 6-1 and helped to make quick work of Omaha starter Sean O’Sullivan. The burly right-hander was tagged for those six runs on seven hits in just two innings and was unable to become the first Omaha pitcher since Chris George in 2004 to win seven straight turns.
Pucetas assumed the hill in the third and quieted the hosts bats long enough to allow the Chasers comeback to begin with three runs, including a Joaquin Arias solo home run, in the fourth. The charge continued in the fifth with Clint Robinson’s two-run blast, his 23rd of the season, that evened the count.
Omaha tallied four times in the sixth to regain the lead for good with the aid of a throwing error by pitcher Garrett Parcell on a Dyson sacrifice bunt that allowed two runs to score and a two-out, two-run single by Kila Ka’aihue.
Ramon Vazquez doubled in a run and scored in the eighth before Rottino’s solo shot later in the inning sliced the Chasers advantage to 11-9 and chased Jesse Chavez from the hill. Kelvin Herrera got the final out in the eighth but committed one of two errors in a shaky ninth that permitted a run to score. The diminutive, hard-throwing right-hander then induced Vazquez to ground out to end the game with the potential tying run at third base to earn his sixth save.
Story courtesy of omahastormchasers.com