In a game where both teams launched four home runs, it was the Omaha Storm Chasers who found another way to score, and ultimately topped the New Orleans Baby Cakes in the series opener in Nebraska, 9-8.
The 'Cakes swatted a quartet of long balls, accounting for each of their seven runs. Austin Dean launched a three-run shot to kick off the scoring in the first then lifted another down the left field line in the seventh, marking his first multi-homer game of the season and a season-high five RBI, which is the most by a NOLA player this season.
But the Chasers hunted down the 'Cakes early 3-0 lead quickly. Ryan O'Hearn, Kelvin Gutierrez and Nick Dini went back-to-back-to-back in the middle of a stretch of five consecutive hits off New Orleans starter Robert Dugger, turning a three-run deficit into a one-run lead.
Isan Diaz turned around a 2-0 pitch in the fifth over the right field wall for a two-run shot in the fifth, knotting the score at 5-5.
It was Diaz's 22nd home run on the season, tying him for sixth most in the PCL, and the most by a middle infielder.
But the Storm Chasers put up a second four-spot in the sixth, starting with a leadoff homer by Elier Hernandez. Then, with two on, O'Hearn turned reliever Kyle Keller's offering over the head of right fielder Magneuris Sierra, who took a poor route to the ball that allowed both runners to score. Dini capped the scoring on a ground ball that got through the legs of shortstop Deven Marrero, allowing O'Hearn to round third.
Dean helped the 'Cakes cut into the lead with his solo shot in the seventh, and Marrero earned a little redemption with his 12th home run of the season in the eighth to bring New Orleans within two.
Dean drove in another in the ninth, scoring Eddy Alvarez on a sacrifice fly. With Isan Diaz on base, the 'Cakes had the go-ahead run at the plate, but Yunior Marte recorded his first Triple-A save by retiring Lewis Brinson.
Brian Moran (2-3), who yielded the sixth run of the game in relief, took the loss, and Brian Brickhouse (1-0) earned his first win of the season after 2.0 hitless innings.
Dean has hit safely in each of the six games since the All-Star break, with multi-hit efforts in five games. Lefty Jeff Kinley struck out three in his 1 2/3 innings to record his first scoreless appearance of the season for New Orleans.
Alvarez scored three runs, recording a double, a walk and a hit by pitch in the ninth.
The 'Cakes fell to 12-22 in one run games.
The two teams meet for game two of four tomorrow. Hector Noesi (10-4, 3.21) will start for New Orleans, opposing lefty Jake Kalish (6-5, 4.33). First pitch is 7:05 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.