Originally Published: May 9, 2011 3:9 PM CDT
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer
OMAHA, Nebraska—It came down to the final frame for the Oklahoma City Redhawks who patiently whittled down the Omaha’s lead and knocked in three runs in the ninth to beat the Storm Chasers 8-5.
After trailing for most of the game, OKC saved its best inning for last and used great hitting including one triple, a double and a single to bring home three runs and take the final advantage.
Oklahoma City was the first to get on the board in the top of the first on a single by Koby Clemens who grounded one into center field to score Anderson Hernandez.
The Storm Chasers answered in the bottom of the frame off a hit by Kila Ka’aihue who grounded out, but scored David Lough.
In the third, Omaha tacked on two more runs to take the 3-1 lead. Lough got on base with a line drive single into right field, followed by a double to left by Johnny Giavotella that scored Lough. Then Giavotella scored the second run off a sacrifice fly to center by Mike Moustakas and the Storm Chasers took the two run advantage.
The Redhawks got some momentum going in the fourth after Robinson Cancel knocked a line drive to right field for a double. Then, with Jose Valejo at bat, Omaha pitcher Mike Montogmery threw a wild pitch that advanced Cancel to third base and Vallejo drew a walk. One batter later, Montgomery threw yet another wild pitch that allowed Cancel to score and the Redhawks to cut the lead to 3-2, but Hernandez struck out swinging to end the inning.
OKC held Omaha in the bottom of the fourth and tacked on yet another run in the fifth thanks to a home run by Locke to tie the game 3-3.
But the Storm Chasers answered again in the bottom of the fifth. With two runners on, Moustakas pounded a ball into center field for a double that scored Lough. OKC pitcher Jordan Lyles intentionally walked Clint Robinson to load the bases. To the Redhawks demise, Ka’aihue came to the plate and also drew a walk which scored Giavotella. Despite the easy score, Lyles closed out inning with a strikeout of Zawadzki.
Omaha made a pitching change to start the sixth replacing Montgomery with Blaine Hardy. Regardless, the bats got swinging again for OKC when Cancel knocked a fly ball to left for the second home run of the day to cut the score to 5-4.
Oklahoma City got tough in the eighth and the comeback began. With two on and one out, Tommy Manzella sent a line drive to center field to score Collin DeLome from second to tie the game 5-5.
After a big defensive effort by the Redhawks in the eighth to hold Omaha, it all came down to the final inning.
Locke initiated the momentum on a line-drive triple to right field that scored Brandon Barnes, then Clements doubled on a fly ball to left to score Drew Locke. Finally, Collin DeLome singled on a bunt that brought home Clements and boosted the Redhawks to the 8-5 win.
Fernando Rodriguez got the win on the mound and is now 2-2 with a 1.53 ERA. Sergio Escalona is credited with his third save of the year.
The Redhawks and Storm Chasers closeout the series with each team winning two games.
OKC (14-17) returns home to face the Tacoma Rainers Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. inside the Bricktown Ballpark.