Storm Chasers left fielder Peter O'Brien crushed a go-ahead solo home run in the seventh, with center fielder Billy Burns and designated hitter Garin Cecchini each collecting three hits, while the Omaha bullpen tossed 4.1 scoreless frames in a 5-3 series-winning victory over the New Orleans Baby Cakes on Monday afternoon at Werner Park.
With the game tied at 3-3 heading into the last of the seventh, O'Brien blasted a 2-1 offering just under the left-field scoreboard to break the tie and push the Storm Chasers ahead 4-3. Cecchini's RBI infield single one frame later provided insurance as the bullpen preserved the victory.
The trio of Mark Peterson (1.1 IP, H, BB, K), Al Alburquerque (2.0 IP, H, 2 K) and Malcom Culver (1.0 IP, H, K) shut down the Baby Cakes in support of Eric Skoglund (4.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, BB, 5 K), with Alburquerque earning the win and Culver notching the save. Over the course of the three-game series, the Omaha relief corps yielded just one run over 10.1 frames versus New Orleans. Baby Cakes relief man Raudel Lazo (2.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, K) suffered the defeat to fall to 0-2.
The Storm Chasers put up a two-spot in the first courtesy of 1B Ryan O'Hearn's RBI groundout, while RF Jorge Bonifacio followed with a run-scoring knock to right. After Omaha got their third score on a double play in the third, the Baby Cakes responded with two tallies in the fourth on run-scoring singles by 1B Brandon Barnes and DH Moises Sierra. Barnes one inning later evened the contest at 3-3 with an RBI single to center prior to O'Brien's shot.
Cecchini (3-4, RBI) and Burns (3-5, R, 2B) each recorded a game-high three hits, while O'Hearn (2-4, RBI) and SS Ramon Torres (2-5, 2 R) also accumulated multi-hit efforts. Baby Cakes C Tomas Telis (3-5, R) also collected three knocks, with Barnes (2-5, 2 RBI) and 2B Steve Lombardozzi (2-5, 2 R) each recording two hits.
After a 5-2 homestand, which included a 2-1 series win over New Orleans, the Storm Chasers now travel to Round Rock to start an eight-game road trip on Tuesday evening. First pitch of the series opener versus the Express is scheduled for 7:05 p.m., with top Royals prospect in RHP Josh Staumont (1-1, 6.75) expected to toe the rubber for Omaha. Round Rock is slated to send RHP Dillon Gee (0-2, 7.20) to the hill.
The Storm Chasers follow their road trip by beginning an eight-game homestand on Thursday, April 27. First pitch of the series opener that evening against the Oklahoma City Dodgers is anticipated to begin at 7:05 p.m. CT.
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 hours, please click here.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.