Storm Chasers win second straight PCL title
By Jen Nevius
In the win or go home Game 5 of the Pacific Coast League Championship Series, Omaha was victorious on their home field. The Storm Chasers beat visiting Reno, 4-0 to win their second straight PCL title.
Brett Hayes got the Storm Chasers on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first. He drove in two runs with a two out double. Omaha tacked on another run on a Whit Merrifield two out single. They added their final run in the eighth on an error.
May 31, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Aaron Brooks delivers a pitch against Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
The two runs in the first were more than enough for Storm Chasers starter Aaron Brooks. He allowed a single to start the game, but struck out the side in the first. He walked one in the second and allowed an Andy Marte one out double in the third.
Then Brooks went on cruise control.
In the complete game shutout, he retired the final 20 batters he faced. He struck out nine. With the win, he became the first pitcher in ten years to win three games in the PCL playoffs. Not surprisingly, Brooks was named the MVP.
On offense, Paulo Orlando went 2-for-4 and hit .410 during the playoffs. Pedro Ciriaco also had two hits and hit .342.
Omaha will try to defend their Triple-A National Championship on Tuesday night in Charlotte (7:07pm ET on NBC Sports Network) when they face International League Champion Pawtucket (the Boston Red Sox affiliate). They will see a familiar face, lefty Ryan Verdugo, who pitched with Omaha earlier in the season before being traded to Boston.
It will be interesting to see who gets the start for Omaha. With all of their relievers (eight of them) well rested, you could see alot of pitching changes.
It will be a bit of a homecoming for Merrifield, who is from the Winston-Salem area. Merrifield hit. 385 during the playoffs.