The Omaha Storm Chasers (50-56) ended their season series with the Oklahoma City RedHawks (56-50) with their third walk-off win in as many days, as Max Ramirez ended a marathon 12-inning affair with a sacrifice fly. The Chasers had four walk-off wins against the RedHawks in eight home games, and Ramirez has now ended two 12-inning games this month in walk-off fashion.
Royals top prospect Yordano Ventura turned in another strong outing against the RedHawks allowing just one run over five innings of work, and in two starts against Oklahoma City the young flamethrower has given up only two runs in ten total innings. Only four earned runs have scored on Ventura in his last 15.0 innings over three starts and only nine in his last five starts totaling 25.0 innings, and he has 44 strikeouts in 44.2 innings this season for Omaha.
The two teams traded solo homers that accounted for all the scoring until Ramirez’ sac fly, with Christian Colon getting the Chasers on the board early with a solo shot in the first and Jimmy Paredes leading off the fifth with a solo bomb of his own. Colon has nine homers this season, a new career high for the infielder eclipsing his previous high of eight he set in 2011 with Northwest Arkansas.
The Storm Chasers bullpen had allowed 31 earned runs in their last 35.2 innings, but tonight pitched seven scoreless innings allowing just five total baserunners to preserve the tie. Four relievers combined for nine strikeouts in those seven innings, with left-hander Will Smith racking up four strikeouts to up his team-leading total to 91 and fellow lefty Buddy Baumann striking out three in his scoreless 12th inning. Baumann has 49 strikeouts in 30.1 innings this season, good for a 14.54 strikeouts per nine innings ratio.
The win helps Omaha keep pace with division-leading Iowa and Memphis, and the Chasers remain 1.0 game out of the division lead despite their sub-.500 record. Omaha now welcomes the division rival Nashville Sounds for their matchup of the 2013 season, with the Chasers sending out lefty Chris Dwyer (6-8, 3.59) against Sounds right-hander Jimmy Nelson (2-3, 3.29). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.