The K Zone

September 12, 2013

Omaha one win from title; Idaho Falls to title series

Brian Fletcher's walk-off home run helped Omaha sweep a playoff doubleheader Wednesday over Salt Lake. Idaho Falls split its playoff twinbill, but advanced to the Pioneer League Championship Series.

The K Zone

Andy McCullough blogs about the Royals and baseball

It was a two-for-one deal in Omaha on Wednesday.

The Storm Chasers twice rallied to beat Salt Lake (3-2 and 2-1) on Wednesday and took a commanding lead in the best-of-five Pacific Coast League Championship Series.

Omaha took the second game in walk-off fashion as Brian Fletcher led off the ninth inning with a home run. That came after Rey Navarro’s RBI single scored Lane Adams to tie the game in the seventh innings.

Starter Yordano Ventura allowed one run on three hits in six innings. He walked three, threw a wild pitch and struck out six. Rob White of the Omaha World-Herald tweeted that Ventura had reached 100 mph on several of his pitches.

Zach Johnson got the win as he allowed just one hits in three innings of relief. He struck out two.

In the first game, which was a completion of the rain-delayed game from Tuesday, Omaha scored once in the seventh and again in the eighth.

Trailing 2-1, the Storm Chasers got a two-out single from Navarro in the seventh and Manny Pina followed with an RBI double to tie the game. An inning later, Irving Falu had a leadoff single, moved to second on Christian Colon’s sacrifice and scored on a single by Ben Broussard.

Buddy Baumann pitched a perfect eighth inning and got the win, while Michael Mariot got two strikeouts in a perfect ninth in recording the save.

Mariot has been positively Greg Holland-like. In his last 16 appearances, Mariot hasn’t allowed an earned run, spanning 25 innings.

Starter Chris Dwyer went two innings (one run allowed) before the rains came. Clayton Mortensen tossed five innings of two-hit ball. He struck out eight and allowed one run.

The series shifts to Salt Lake on Friday.

Rookie-Advanced Idaho Falls

The Chukars didn’t win twice on Wednesday, but it didn’t matter, because a split still allowed them to win their divisional series and advance to the Pioneer League Championship Series.

Tuesday’s game at Grand Junction was rained out, so the teams played twice. Grand Junction won the opener 7-1 to even the best-of-three series at a game apiece. But Idaho Falls won the decisive third game 5-2.

In that game, Michael Antonio went three for four with two solo homers.

After the Rockies scored two in the bottom of the first, Antonio’s solo shot in the second cut the deficit in half.

Hunter Dozier led off the fourth inning with -- what else -- a double. Cody Stubbs’ single sent Dozier to third and Daniel Rockett singled Dozier home. Antonio’s single loaded the bases and, after a strikeout, Stubbs scored on a wild pitch to give Idaho Falls the lead at 3-2.

Humberto Arteaga hit a solo homer in the fifth and Antonio’s homer in the eighth finished the scoring.

Chukars starter Yender Caramo allowed the two runs on two hits over seven innings. He struck out six and walked one. Kyle Bartsch struck out four in two hitless innings for the save.

On Saturday, Idaho Falls will play Helena in the opener of the Pioneer League Championship Series.

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