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Chasers unable to hold 'Birds 14th inning flight07/20/2011 1:58 AM ET
By Brie Campbell, Memphis Redbirds
Memphis, TN: Memphis managed to steal the win going extra innings tonight against the Omaha Storm Chasers as the 'Birds bounced back from last night defeat to take it in the fourteenth inning 6-5 to even the series 1-1.
The 'Birds started off strong as Adron Chambers led the game off with a first-pitch single to center field to shake any thought of a back-to-back no hitter. But it wasn't until the seventh when the 'Birds managed get a run to match the hits for the night.
Starting pitcher for the 'Birds Maikel Cleto made his second start this season for Memphis pitching six full innings giving up three runs off five hits, with two walks and four strikeouts.
"We shred our bullpen, they did a nice job in shutting down, giving up only three runs after (Maikel) Cleto came out," said designated hitter Nick Stavinoha. "It was a good job."
Pete Parise came in for the 'Birds in the top of the seventh facing catcher Manny Pina who got a hold of one bridging the gap with a home run to take a 4-0 lead. Parise battled and finished the inning only giving up the one run and hit off the homer.
The 'Birds were able to bring the runs across in the bottom of the seventh as Stavinoha stepped up to the plate with two runners on. Stavinoha hit the first pitch over the wall but was a hair shy of being fair and battled a 2-2 count to hit another bomb for his 67 career home run putting the 'Birds on the board 4-3.
"I knew it was going foul when I hit it," said Stavinoha about his first shot. "It felt good, we were down four nothing at the time so it gave us some life and a good chance."
Omaha added one more to go up 5-3 against reliever Rich Rundles in the top of the eighth, but the 'Birds battle back with a lead-off walk and a double to follow by Matt Carpenter advancing Brown to third in the bottom of the set. Aaron Luna got the job done with a sacrifice fly to right field to score Brown, 5-4, still one run shy of Omaha's lead.
The Redbirds start at the top of the line-up in the ninth as Adron Chambers started with a double to be set up in scoring position. Stavinoha continued to perform with a single to advance Chambers to third. But it was Mark Hamilton that came through with the sacrifice fly for the tying run to cross home plate.
The Memphis bullpen came through tonight pitching 10 solid scoreless innings, giving up only two runs off seven hits.
"The bullpen was outstanding," said Manager Chris Maloney. "They threw ten scoreless innings for us."
It was an exchange of outs for five extra innings until the 'Birds were able to get away with the win. Matt Carpenter showed patience with a walk to lead and be pushed over on a sacrifice bunt. Bryan Anderson occupied first when Omaha's pitcher Mario Santiago intentionally walked him. Pete Kozma pulled through with the walk-off single to score Carpenter for the 6-5 win.
The 'Birds gain a spot in the American Northern now three games behind Omaha and tied 1-1 for the four game series at AutoZone Park. Memphis will throw the first pitch tomorrow night at 7:05 PM looking to gain more ground against the Omaha Storm Chasers.