ALLENTOWN, Penn. - The Omaha Storm Chasers are the 2013 Triple-A National Champions, completing their improbable run to the crown 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 in his seventh start of seven innings or more for the Chasers this season, and his fewest hits allowed in 39 career Triple-A starts. Including the Triple-A Championship, Dwyer posted a career high 18 quality starts but had only one Triple-A scoreless start entering tonight.
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 Jake Odorizzi in the second, who had 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.
After Dwyer's exit, Michael Mariot came on and retired his first two batters in the eighth before giving up a pinch-hit solo homer to Leslie Anderson to cut the Chasers lead to 2-1. After recording two outs in the ninth, Mariot allowed two baserunners before giving way to Zach Jackson who retired the final batter and clinched the Championship with a strikeout. Jackson led all Omaha relievers with 8.0 innings in the playoffs, after totaling only 2.0 innings at the Triple-A level during the regular season.
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.