Fletcher hits walk-off homer for Omaha

Triple-A newcomer gets to play hero in Game 2 of PCL Finals

By Chris Jackson / Special to MiLB.com | September 11, 2013 9:05 PM ET

Brian Fletcher entered Tuesday night with just 30 career games at the Triple-A level.

His 31st was one for the personal highlight reel.

In Game 2 of the Pacific Coast League Finals, Fletcher blasted a walk-off home run as Omaha edged visiting Salt Lake, 2-1, on Tuesday night.

With the victory, the Storm Chasers took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-5 series after winning Game 1, 3-2, earlier in the day.

"I hit it well," Fletcher said. "It's hard to hit a ball out of this park, especially out to right and center. It plays pretty deep. I started thinking I had a chance when I saw (right fielder Drew) Heid start running hard."

Fletcher hit Chad Cordero's 1-1 pitch just over the fence onto the grass berm above right-center field, ending another tight pitching duel in the Storm Chasers' favor.

"Some of the guys told me to relax, wait for your pitch, don't be too anxious," said Fletcher, the son of former Major League player Scott Fletcher. "I went up with mentality of just having a good at-bat. First pitch, he threw me a fastball that was in for strike one. Next pitch was a slider low and away for a ball. Fastball up over the plate for the third and I got it."

Early on, the game was a pitching duel between veteran Tommy Hanson of Salt Lake and Royals' No. 2 prospect Yordano Ventura of Omaha. Ventura allowed just Scott Cousins' one-out RBI single in the fourth. All told, Ventura went six innings, scattering two additional hits and three walks while striking out six.

"Ventura, we call him Ace, he's a big battler," Fletcher said. "He can throw 98 to 100 [mph] and has just an incredible breaking ball. He's got electric stuff."

Veteran lefty Zach Jackson (1-0) then came on and threw three scoreless innings, allowing just one hit without a walk while striking out two batters.

Hanson threw six scoreless frames before running into trouble in the seventh. The right-hander allowed two baserunners on a fielder's choice and a walk before being pulled in favor of reliever Fernando Cabrera.

Rey Navarro greeted Cabrera with a bloop RBI single into shallow left-center field to tie the game.

"One thing about this team, it's just a great group of guys here," Fletcher said. "Everyone fights to the end. Everyone's relentless."

Chris Jackson is a contributor to MiLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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