Omaha shortstop Humberto Arteaga smacked a walk-off double in the bottom of the ninth after left fielder Jorge Bonifacio 's game-tying big fly, while right fielder Brett Phillips also left the yard as the Storm Chasers topped the El Paso Chihuahuas on Runza Night at Werner Park on Saturday night.
After El Paso grabbed a 6-5 advantage in the top of the ninth, Bonifacio blasted a solo shot to begin the last of the ninth and tie the game. C Nick Dini would follow with a line-drive single to left and move to second on 2B Jecksson Flores ' sacrifice bunt prior to RF Brett Phillips ' walk to set the scene for Arteaga, who laced the first pitch he saw past the glove of the left fielder, trickling to the wall to allow Dini to score.
The Chihuahuas struck first in the opening frame, with Phillips evening the contest in the third via an opposite field solo blast to left. Dini later drove in two runs to push Omaha ahead 3-2 in the fourth, though El Paso would counter with single tallies in the fifth and sixth frames to lead again at 4-3. Bonifacio, however, would crush an RBI triple to the center field wall before coming across on a balk to put the Storm Chasers ahead 5-4.
Six different Omaha batters collected two knocks, including Bonifacio (2-3, 2 R, 3B, HR, 2 RBI, BB), Dini (2-4, R, HR, 2 RBI), Flores (2-3), Phillips (2-3, R, HR, RBI, BB), Arteaga (2-4, 2 2B, RBI) and LF Bubba Starling (2-4, 2 R, 2B). Starling with his two-hit effort now owns a .346 batting average, which ranks among the top ten in the Pacific Coast League. El Paso 1B Ty France (3-5, 2 2B, 2 RBI), meanwhile, posted a game-high three hits, joined by DH Aderlin Rodriguez (2-5, R, 2 2B) and 3B Seth Mejias-Brean (2-4, BB) in tallying two or more knocks.
Omaha reliever Ben Lively (3.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, ER, 2 K) earned his third victory after firing the final three frames. Chihuahuas reliever Andres Munoz (0.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, BB), meanwhile, suffered the defeat.
The two squads are slated to continue their four-game set on Sunday afternoon, with first pitch scheduled for 2:05pm CT. LHP Foster Griffin (6-2, 4.62) is anticipated to get the nod for the Storm Chasers, with El Paso expected to counter with LHP Kyle McGrath (3-1, 5.60).
Tickets for that game and all remaining Storm Chasers home contests can be purchased online at www.omahastormchasers.com, or by calling the Werner Park Ticket Office from noon until 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday at (402) 738-5100.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.