Storm Chasers catcher Brayan Pena collected three hits and drove in two runs, while first baseman Frank Schwindel continued his hot hitting ways with a pair of knocks and starting pitcher Onelki Garcia earned his fifth straight triumph as Omaha held on for a 6-5 victory over the Iowa Cubs in front of 7,127 fans on Friday evening at Werner Park.
The Storm Chasers struck first with a four-run spurt in the second, with Pena delivering a two-run knock to center to get Omaha on the board. LF Corey Toups then drove home Pena with an RBI single of his own to center, before coming plateward on a wild pitch to cap the big inning.
After Iowa plated single tallies in the third and fourth to cut their deficit in half, the two teams traded runs in the seventh and eighth frames, which included Schwindel's run-scoring single in the seventh and SS Raul Mondesi's bases-loaded free pass one inning later. The I-Cubs threatened in the ninth, narrowing Omaha's advantage to one and putting the go-ahead run on base, however reliever Kyle Zimmer (2.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K) was able to quell the comeback effort to notch the two-inning save.
Garcia (5.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K) earned his fifth consecutive victory, with lefty Eric Stout (2.0 IP, H, R, ER, 2 BB, 3 K) receiving his fourth hold. Iowa starter Seth Frankoff (4.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 5 BB, 3 K) suffered the loss to fall to 1-7.
Pena (3-4, 2 R, 2 RBI) led all Chasers batters with his three hits, joined by Schwindel and Toups in recording multi-hit efforts, while I-Cubs CF John Andreoli (3-4, 2 R, BB) and LF Stephen Bruno (3-4, R, RBI) added three knocks apiece. Pena performance means he has recorded hits in nine of his last 11 games played, including five tilts of two or more knocks. Schwindel has also fared well over his last 27 bouts, recording a hit in all but one of those matchups.
Omaha and Iowa continue their four-game set on Saturday evening, with first pitch scheduled for 6:05 p.m. CT. The Storm Chasers' starting pitcher has not yet been announced, while the Cubs are expected to give the ball to RHP Williams Perez (5-7, 5.01).
Tickets are still available for that game and all remaining Storm Chasers contests, and may be purchased at www.omahastormchasers.com/tickets, as well as by calling the Werner Park Ticket Office at (402) 738-5100. To view Ticket Office ours, please click here.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.