Omaha uses power to force decisive Game 5


In a must-win situation, Omaha showed off its power in beating Reno, 11-2 to force the decisive Game 5 on Sunday afternoon for the Pacific Coast League Championship.

After not hitting a home run in the first three games, the Storm Chasers busted out in a big way in Game 4, hitting five of them. They actually trailed briefly, 1-0 heading into the bottom of the third.

Utility man Brian Bocock at the plate during spring training 2014 (Jen Nevius).

Brian Bocock quickly tied the game with a leadoff home run. Paul Janish followed with a double and with one out, Pedro Ciriaco hit a two-run homer to give the Storm Chasers the lead for good.

To lead off the fourth, Brett Hayes (who had tripled earlier) hit a solo home run. Omaha would bat around and plate four more runs via four more hits, including Bocock’s second homer of the game, a two-run shot.

In the fifth, the Storm Chasers added another run on three hits, scoring on Whit Merrifield‘s two out single. Brett Eibner would cap the scoring in the sixth with a two-run homer.

Omaha collected 15 hits, at least two from every hitter but Matt Fields (0-for-5), Paulo Orlando (1-for-5), and Merrifield (1-for-5). Nine of their hits went for extra bases.

They also received a solid start from Andy Ferguson, who did not pitch in the previous playoff series and had not pitched since September 1st. The first hit he allowed was a double to start the 3rd inning, which came around to score on a sac fly to give the Aces a short-lived 1-0.

Ferguson allowed the Aces second run on two hits in his final inning: the sixth (he also struck out two in that inning). Overall, he allowed the two runs on six hits and a walk over 5.2 innings. He struck out six.

Buddy Baumann, who had started Game 4 in the previous series, earned the save with 3.1 scoreless innings of relief. He allowed four hits, but struck out four.

Rumor has it that Game 1 starter Aaron Brooks will be starting Game 5. He won 4-2 over Reno in that game and is 2-0 so far in the postseason. Hopefully the Storm Chasers saved some offense for the final game of the series.