No Ventura, No Problem: Omaha takes Game 1 of PCL Semifinals
By Jen Nevius
Triple-A Omaha took Game 1 of their Pacific Coast League semifinal series with OKC by a 3-1 score.
Prospect Yordano Ventura was a very late scratch for the start for an unspecified violation of team rules. Veteran Brian Sanches (he who has ten regular season victories) stepped in as his replacement.
The Storm Chasers did not miss a beat.
They scored a run in the first inning on a Ben Broussard sac fly.
Sanches pretty much cruised from there with the early cushion. He got into a bit of trouble in the third, but picked off a base runner at first base and on the very next pitch, induced an inning ending ground out. At that point, he had thrown just 29 pitches (21 for strikes). He issued his only walks of the game in the fourth with one out, but escaped.
Sanches had a 1-2-3 fifth before getting into trouble in his final inning. He allowed a leadoff single, but with one out, catcher Manny Pina threw that runner out trying to steal second base. After another single and a wild pitch, Sanches was lifted after throwing just 65 pitches in favor of Maikel Cleto (who was just a bit wild).
Cleto walked the first two hitters he faced to load the bases before striking out his final hitter of the sixth. Cleto went back out for the 7th inning and walked the first two batters he faced.
In came closer Michael Mariot for a three inning save. He did allow an inherited runner to score, but his defense also failed him (two errors, with the run scoring on an Anthony Seratelli fielding error at third base). Mariot was helped out by Paulo Orlando, who caught a fly ball for the second out and threw a runner out at the plate to end the inning.
Mariot allowed one base runner in each of his final two innings, but picked up the save (3IP, H, 0R, BB, 3K). He threw 43 pitches so I doubt he will see any action in Game 2 (or maybe even the third game back in Omaha).
The Storm Chasers had their lead courtesy of Christian Colon, who doubled in a run in the sixth and led off the ninth with a solo home run.
Clayton Mortensen is scheduled to start Game 2 in OKC, before the series heads to Omaha. No word on whether or not Ventura will pitch in the series.
*Lane Adams made his Triple-A debut and went 0-for-3. He started in left field and batted seventh.