Mother Nature made them wait (two hours and forty minutes), but Omaha beat Colorado Springs, 13-8 to clinch their fourth straight American Northern Division title and a spot in the Pacific Coast League playoffs.
Both teams scored at least one run from the 5th inning on. The ball was also flying out of Werner Park, as the two teams combined for six home runs.
Credit to: Minda Haas
Paulo Orlando got the scoring started for the Storm Chasers with a solo home run in the second. In the 5th inning, Johnny Giavotella hit a two-run homer with two outs and the rehabbing Eric Hosmer followed with a solo shot.
Buddy Baumann earned the win, as he allowed two runs on nine hits over 5.2 innings. He struck out four. Blake Wood followed, but only recorded two outs. He allowed three runs on three hits and a walk. Chris Dwyer closed it out, but also allowed three runs on four hits over 2.2 innings.
The Storm Chasers will begin their quest for a second straight PCL title on Wednesday at home against Memphis (they host the first two games).
NW Arkansas lost to Arkansas, 7-3.
Matt Murray dropped to 1-6, as he allowed five runs on six hits and four walks over four innings. He also hit a batter and threw a wild pitch. Aroni Nina followed and allowed one run on one hit and two walks over two innings. Aaron Crow threw his final inning with the Naturals (1IP, H, 0R, 0BB, K). Kevin Perez then allowed a run on three hits and three walks over the final two innings.
Wilmington was eliminated from the postseason, as they lost 4-1 to visiting Salem. Lynchburg clinched the final playoff spot with a win (Frederick lost both games of their doubleheader). They also dropped to 5-14 against the Red Sox this season.
The Blue Rocks took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth. Bubba Starling walked, stole second base, and came around to score on Brett Eibner‘s single. Then Miguel Almonte gave up two runs in the top half of the fifth on three straight hits and his pickoff error allowed the go ahead run to score.
Daniel Stumpf entered in relief in the sixth, but allowed a run in the seventh (hurt by his own fielding error). Starling fell down in the rain in the ninth on a triple before the tarp was brought out. Andrew Edwards entered in relief of Johnny Walter when play resumed and allowed an RBI triple to cap the scoring.
The Blue Rocks collected just five hits, two by Frank Schwindel.
Just a few tidbits on how bad the last 12 games have been for the Blue Rocks (via Wilmington’s press release):
"Wilmington held a half-game lead on Lynchburg in the Wild Card race as recently as August 24. However, the Rocks slumped down the stretch to a 3-9 record in their last 12 games. Only once in its last eight games has the Blue Crew plated more than one run – that was during an 8-0 win over Potomac on Thursday."
Lexington lost to Greenville, 3-2.
With two outs in the top of the fourth, Humberto Arteaga hit a two-run home run to give the Legends the 2-1 lead. However, the Drive scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth to retake the lead.
Jake Junis took the loss, as he allowed two runs on four hits over two innings of relief. He struck out four. It was his first appearance since August 19th. Jose Miguel Rodriguez pitched a scoreless inning and Tim Hill pitched a perfect eighth.
Matt Alvarez got the start and allowed one run on four hits and three walks over four innings.
The Legends collected seven hits, two from Elier Hernandez, who pinch-hit in the fifth.