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Bocock helps Chasers avoid elimination

Omaha clubs five homers, forces Game 5 in PCL Championship Series
September 13, 2014

When the wind blows at Werner Park -- and that's seemingly always -- anything can happen. On Saturday afternoon, that anything was Brian Bocock providing some rare thump in a big win.

Bocock matched his regular-season total with two home runs as Omaha forced a decisive fifth game in the Pacific Coast League Championship Series with an 11-2 victory over Reno.

The 29-year-old infielder and his teammates took advantage of a stiff breeze blowing out to left by clobbering five homers, with Pedro Ciriaco, Brett Hayes and Brett Eibner backing Bocock's power surge.

Bocock hit his first homer leading off the third inning to forge a 1-1 tie. He followed with a two-run shot in a five-run fourth that put Omaha ahead, 8-1.

"We've played in this park all year long," Bocock said. "The wind typically blows a lot. It might blow in or out to left or out to right, but usually, it's blowing. Today, we happened to get balls in the air going in the right direction and they got out. If the wind's not blowing, a couple of them still might've gotten out."

Power has never been a staple for Bocock. In a nine-year pro career, his personal best is five homers; and he hit only two in 104 regular-season games -- a third homer on June 20 against Albuquerque was taken off the board when the game was canceled.

The multi-homer effort was Bocock's first since July 10, 2013, when he launched a pair for Indianapolis in the International League.

"I don't hit a lot of [homers]," he said. "I don't think we were trying to hit the ball in the air to left field or whatever way the wind was going out. You start doing that, you run into trouble.

"In this park, anything can happen, so you need to score a lot of runs to win. They got some good arms over there, but today, we got to them, so we live to fight another day."

Game 5 -- the first in the PCL since 1998 -- is Sunday afternoon in Omaha.

After Reno grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the third, Omaha answered with three runs in the bottom half. Bocock's leadoff shot started the rally, Paul Janish followed with a double and scored on Ciriaco's blast to left.

After holding the Aces scoreless in the fourth, the Storm Chasers -- sparked by another leadoff homer -- went back to work and scored five runs. Hayes drove a liner over the fence in left, Eibner doubled and, after Cheslor Cuthbert hit an RBI single, Bocock clobbered a two-run blast.

Omaha loaded the bases on a hit batter, an error and a single but settled for one run as Janish scampered home on a fielder's choice by Matt Fields.

Omaha starter Andy Ferguson (1-0) struck out seven over 5 2/3 innings, holding Reno to two runs on six hits and a walk. Buddy Baumann finished up for his postseason save.

Reno's Charles Brewer (1-1) lasted three-plus innings and surrendered six runs on seven hits, including three homers.

Jake Seiner is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter at @Jake_Seiner.