Chasers fall to Nashville, Laffey -
Published Monday, July 29, 2013 at 10:18 pm / Updated at 1:12 am
Chasers fall to Nashville, Laffey
Omaha at Tacoma
When: 9 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Cheney Stadium, Tacoma, Wash.
Pitchers: Omaha RH Brian Sanches (7-2, 3.44 ERA) vs. Tacoma RH Taijuan Walker (2-0, 2.42 ERA)
Radio: 1180 AM KZOT

Omaha couldn’t finish off a potential sweep of Nashville, but adding a potentially productive bat to the lineup might help ease the sting of the missed opportunity.

Brian Fletcher was promoted from Class AA Northwest Arkansas and inserted into the fifth spot in the Omaha batting order Monday night, and the right-handed hitter drove in both runs in his Class AAA debut — with a sacrifice fly and a homer — in a 4-2 defeat before 4,101 at Werner Park

“There’s no doubt he can swing it,” Omaha manager Mike Jirschele said. “He’s got good bat speed and he’s got power, which he showed tonight. He’s definitely going to help our offense.”

Fletcher, 24, was hitting .314 with 12 homers and 37 RBIs in 52 games while batting third for Class AA Northwest Arkansas.

He’s also having a pretty good week.

Besides the promotion, he had a three-homer game that he finished with a walk-off blast last Tuesday, and he had a homer and four RBIs in his last game with the Naturals.

“I was real excited when I heard the news,” Fletcher said. “Having the opportunity to come up here is an honor.”

An 18th-round pick in 2010 out of Auburn, he’s the son of former big-league infielder Scott Fletcher. Jirschele said Fletcher would be in the lineup nearly every day, alternating between first base and designated hitter.

Fletcher missed about two months early this season after breaking a hamate bone in his wrist. When healthy, he’s hit an average of 22 homers per 144 games in his professional career.

With two of Omaha’s top hitters — Johnny Giavotella and Anthony Seratelli — out with injuries, and on a team that has no player with more than 11 homers, Fletcher could provide a much-needed power threat.

Fletcher’s first-inning sacrifice fly came with the bases loaded and gave Omaha a 1-0 lead.

“He did exactly what he needed to do there, and he just missed that ball,” Jirschele said.

Fletcher led off the fourth inning with a homer against Aaron Laffey, tying the game 2-2.

“I’m just being patient, that’s the main thing, and trying to have good at-bats and not trying to do too much,” Fletcher said. “I was happy I was able to produce some offense, and hopefully I can keep that going.”

Laffey — the frequently waived and frequently claimed left-hander who is with his eighth organization in three seasons — survived a shaky first and pitched seven strong innings, allowing two runs on five hits while walking two and striking out one.

After Fletcher’s homer, Laffey retired 12 of the final 15 batters he faced, including the last seven in order.

Max Ramirez drew a leadoff walk in the eighth against Johnnie Lowe, but pinch-runner Quintin Berry was picked off. Omaha had a two-out rally in the ninth against Jesus Sanchez, with two runners reaching base, but Irving Falu grounded out to end it.

Omaha starter Justin Marks (4-11) managed to give up just three runs in six innings, despite walking a Chaser season-high six and hitting a batter. He gave up five hits and struck out three.

“He struggled all night, but you know what, he battled and got through six innings,” Jirschele said. “He gave up three runs, but it could have been a lot worse.”

Still, in the victory-challenged American Conference North, the Chasers remained in first place as both Memphis and Iowa also lost. Omaha has a one game lead over the Redbirds, while the Cubs are two games back. Nashville is a league-worst 39-71 and is 14 games out.

Omaha hits the road for eight games, with four-game series against Tacoma and Salt Lake, the top two teams in the Pacific Conference.

“We’ll see where we’re at when we go out there,” Jirschele said.

STORM TRACKING: Jirschele said pitcher Yordano Ventura’s hamstring responded well, and though he’ll miss his next start, the right-hander could be used out of the bullpen before returning to the rotation. ... Jirschele said he hadn’t heard the results of the MRI on the hip of Giavotella, and said Seratelli’s ankle was improving and he could be back in the lineup soon. ...Omaha infielder Chase Lambin (calf) went on the disabled list. ... Omaha and Salt Lake share the PCL’s best record in July. ... Omaha turned a season-high four double plays.

Contact the writer: Rob White    |   402-444-1027    |  

Rob White covers University of Nebraska at Omaha sports and the Omaha Storm Chasers.

Film Streams to screen 2 special-interest movies this week
Annie, when that girl's hitting the bottle, look out
Blair High senior shows his love of pi by memorizing 1,381 digits
Despite ‘bag lady’ fears, women leery of investing
The Record: Commercial real estate transfers, April 21
The Record: Bankruptcies, April 21
Don’t be in a hurry to toss those tax papers
Jon Stewart might be real king of late night
'Tis soon Talk Like Shakespeare Day; hence be mirthful!
MarksJarvis: Don’t put all the pennies in the kids’ college piggy bank
11:30 a.m. Tuesday: Warren Watch chat
Can't find your pet? Social media is there to help
Tilly's racing to make 50 hats before the polo match
Metro transit recommends streetcar, rapid-transit bus line for Omaha
6-mile stretch of Highway 75 is the road not taken
Chatelain: Smiles and scowls: How to reconcile the two Bos
These days, captains let others go down with ship
After decades looking in, Republican Dan Frei seeks chance to take action
Cause of Omaha power outage along Regency Parkway unclear
Ben Sasse, Shane Osborn try to pin label of D.C. insider on each other
Curious about government salaries? Look no further
Tuna brand plans Omaha stop and donation
An early look at the new Beercade (photos)
This York man has nearly 5,998 more salt and pepper shakers than you do
Still plenty of spring in Hastings coach’s step

Sunday's Top Events
PCL baseball
Nashville at Omaha, 6:35 p.m. (Live stats)

Game Time, TV/Radio Schedule
Monday's Area Events
Monday's TV/Radio Schedule
Tuesday's Area Events
Tuesday's TV/Radio Schedule

Prep Results (mobile)

Holes in One
Dog Racing Results
Horse Racing Entries, Horse Racing Results
Deadline Deal thumbnail
Meridian Med Spa
50% Off Botox®, Botox® Bridal Party, Fillers and Peels
Buy Now
< >
Blog: Dirk's 'Mad Chatter'
Dirk Chatelain offers his thoughts on the latest news from around the sports world, complete with links to the best articles, opinion columns, YouTube videos and more.
Civic Auditorium Timeline
World-Herald columnist Tom Shatel asked readers for their favorite memories of the Civic Auditorium. We combined their submissions with a few key events or moments in the auditorium's history.
CWS: Banner Years
The College World Series historical database, a growing home for historical information about past NCAA baseball championships, which have been played in Omaha since 1950.
Downtown Omaha event map
Discover the area surrounding the CenturyLink Center, TD Ameritrade Park and downtown Omaha -- including restaurants, arts & entertainment venues, hotels and local retail outlets.
Facebook: Tom Shatel's page
Get Tom Shatel's sports columns delivered straight to your Facebook feed.
Follow Tom Shatel on Twitter
Get instant analysis and commentary from World-Herald columnist Tom Shatel on Twitter.
Nebraska high school basketball's greatest night
Four elite teams. Two buzzer-beaters. One packed house. On March 11, 1989, the stars aligned and produced the best night in Nebraska high school basketball history.
Shatel's blog
Check out the latest from World-Herald sports columnist Tom Shatel.
Shatel: Tom's Take on 20 Unforgettable Years in Sports
Get World-Herald columnist Tom Shatel's book "Shatel: Tom's Take on 20 Unforgettable Years in Sports."
Super Bowl: Through the years
The Super Bowl is a yearly media madhouse. See how The World-Herald sports section's front pages portrayed each of the Super Bowl victories won by those players celebrated in our Mt. Rushmore of Super Bowl QBs.
Talk sports with World-Herald reporters
World-Herald reporters log on to talk about the latest news surrounding the Huskers, Jays, Mavericks, high schools sports and more. Check out the upcoming chat schedule or replay the latest discussions with the fans.
The disappearance of small-town football
Friday night lights across rural Nebraska are going dark. But one town, in its last season of gridiron independence, proved that school spirit is stronger than ever.
The Nebraska 100
In an historic 2005 series, The World-Herald selected the state’s all-time top 100 athletes. In a new web exclusive, see the digitized collection for the first time.
2013 college football preview
View our 2013 college football preview, a 26-page, three-part section filled with coverage of the Huskers, Big Ten conference and more.
Big Red Bowl Retrospective
See complete historical results, game recaps and photo coverage from the Nebraska Cornhuskers college football bowl game appearances, from the 1941 Rose Bowl up to today.
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »