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Omaha Scores Two In 9th To Power Past RedHawks

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After being shutout for eight innings, the Omaha Storm Chasers scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth on an error and a balk to stun the Oklahoma City RedHawks, 2-1 before 6,758 at Werner Park Thursday night.

With the bases empty and one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, RedHawks closer Jose Valdez issued back-to-back four pitch walks to put runners at first and second.

Adam Moore came up next and sent a ground ball to third baseman Brandon Laird, who threw over to second to get a force out. Second baseman Jake Elmore's throw to first base trying turn the double play was well wide of the bag and went into foul territory, allowing pinch-runner Chase Lambin to score the tying run.

After an infield single by Willy Taveras put runners at the corners, Valdez (3-1) committed a balk, allowing the winning run to score.

The comeback resulted in the first loss when leading after eight innings for the RedHawks this season, who had been 24-0. It was also the first notable come-from-behind win for Omaha, as the Storm Chasers had been 0-28 when trailing after six innings.

With the pair of runs, the Storm Chasers (26-32) also equaled their total run output from their previous 40 innings combined.

The loss also spoiled a bid for a win for RedHawks pitcher Asher Wojciechowksi, who pitched seven phenomenal innings. Wojciechowski scattered four hits with one walk and four strikeouts. He threw 88 pitches, with an impressive 62 for strikes.

The RedHawks (32-26) were able to score in the top of the first inning without registering a hit. Robbie Grossman drew a leadoff walk and stole second base. After a groundout advanced him to third, he scored on a wild pitch to make it 1-0.

It would be the last time the RedHawks had a runner reach as far as third base. The team was limited to a season-low three hits, all singles. Only two runners reached scoring position after the first inning, with none after the fourth.

Omaha threatened to tie the game in both the third and fifth innings. With one out in the third, Moore doubled, but would be stranded at third to end the inning.

Then in the fifth, Omaha caught a huge break after a defensive miscommunication allowed a pop up on the infield to fall for a hit, putting runners at the corners with two outs. Wojciechowksi shook it off and struck out Max Ramirez to end the inning.

The Storm Chasers also had the tying run at third with two outs in the eighth, but Jason Stoffel struck out Xavier Nady to keep it a 1-0 game.

Omaha reliever Buddy Baumann (1-0) ended up with the win, after retiring all six batters he faced over the eighth and ninth innings, with four strikeouts.

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