Chasers sweep on to Salt Lake City - Omaha.com
Published Wednesday, September 11, 2013 at 10:42 pm / Updated at 1:19 am
baseball
Chasers sweep on to Salt Lake City
Omaha at Salt Lake (Game 3)
When: 7:35 p.m. Friday
Where: Spring Mobile Ballpark, Salt Lake City
Radio: 1180 AM KZOT
Probable pitchers: Omaha LH Justin Marks (6-13, 4.58) vs. Salt Lake RH Jarrett Grube (7-5, 4.47)

What better way to cap a two-win Wednesday in the PCL championship series than with a game-ending homer.

Brian Fletcher led off the bottom of the ninth inning by lining a one-ball, one-strike pitch over the wall in right-center field to give Omaha a 2-1 victory over Salt Lake before 4,312 at Werner Park.

Earlier Wednesday, in the completion of Tuesday’s suspended game, Ben Broussard’s eighth-inning single lifted the Chasers to a 3-2 win before 3,963 (paid).

The Chasers have won seven straight games, five in a row in the playoffs, four straight in come-from-behind fashion, and now the last three on their final at-bat.

Other than that, they don’t have much going for them, right?

“That’s why I was just hoping we’d stay close,” Omaha manager Mike Jirschele said. “They just seem to be guys who come through in the late innings — even though I’d like to see them come through earlier in the game.”

Fletcher, who had played in only one game since Aug. 23 because of a sore wrist, was able to channel the team-wide collective karma when striding to the plate in the ninth to face former All-Star closer Chad Cordero.

“Every guy goes up there wanting to be the hero by hitting it out,” Fletcher said. “But you try to take it in simpler terms, try to get on base knowing that our lineup — up and down — can get the job done. If you get on base, anything can happen.”

He got a fastball away and didn’t have to worry about what would happen when he got on base — he just rounded them, pumping his fist in the air after crossing first and getting pounded by teammates at home plate in the postgame celebration.

“I knew I got it, but sometimes this field plays a little big and the ball doesn’t really go,” Fletcher said. “But once I saw (right fielder Drew) Heid go back, I knew I had a chance.”

The rest of the best-of-5 series will be played in Salt Lake, starting with Game 3 on Friday. Omaha is just one win away from a second PCL title in three seasons.

“We’ve got to win one more game, but it’s not going to be easy out there because neither one today was easy,” Jirschele said. “I felt for us to have a chance to win this we’d have to win both games here, because I thought it would be really tough to win 2 of 3 out there on their home field, where they play so well.”

In the opener, after hitting into double plays in four consecutive innings, the Chasers tied the game 2-2 with a run in the seventh on Manny Pina’s RBI double, then moved ahead in the eighth on Broussard’s run-scoring single.

“We put the bat on the ball well, but they made some great plays and kept stopping our rallies,” Broussard said. “But our pitchers kept us in the game. Typical playoff game — close, good defense.”

Broussard put the Chasers ahead by lining a Dustin Richardson pitch into left center field, scoring Irving Falu from second base, easily ahead of the off-target throw of Scott Cousins.

Falu had led off the inning with his third single of the game and moved to second on Christian Colon’s second sacrifice of the game.

After falling behind the switch-hitting Anthony Seratelli three balls and no strikes, the left-handed Richardson issued an intentional walk to get to the left-handed hitting Broussard and set up another potential double play.

It was a near repeat of the sixth inning, with the exception of Seratelli drawing an unintentional walk in the sixth. Broussard hit into an inning-ending double play in the sixth.

“That’s the situation you want to be in — especially where I’m at in the lineup, having Telly in front of me,” said Broussard, the Omaha cleanup hitter. “ It’s great when they pitch around him or walk him and want to face me and I’m able to stick to my plan, get a mistake and hit it somewhere that they can’t catch it.”

Omaha trailed 1-0 in the nightcap in a pitching duel between Yordano Ventura and Salt Lake’s Tommy Hanson, then tied the game with a seventh inning rally against Hanson and two relievers.

Lane Adams, who grounded into three double plays (Omaha grounded into seven on the day), reached on a fielder’s choice against Hanson, then stole second base before Fletcher walked.

Rey Navarro fouled off two two-strike pitches before lining a game-tying single over the head of shortstop Tommy Field.

“Outstanding at-bat,” Jirschele said.

Omaha got strong efforts from Clayton Mortensen in Game 1 and Ventura in Game 2, followed by shutdown performances from its bullpen. Buddy Baumann was the winner and Michael Mariot got the save in the opener, while Zach Jackson pitched three scoreless innings for the win in Game 2.

Mortensen allowed one run on two hits while striking out a season-high eight, and then Ventura allowed one run on three hits and struck out six in six innings.

Mortensen, technically a reliever since Tuesday’s Game 1 had been suspended after Chris Dwyer pitched the first two innings, allowed a tie-breaking homer to Luis Rodriguez in the fourth inning.

That represents the only earned run allowed by the Omaha bullpen in 21 2⁄3 postseason innings — an 0.42 ERA.

Salt Lake, the PCL’s second-best hitting team, had one hit after the fifth inning all day.

“Those guys have been outstanding — and against real good hitting clubs, which is exciting to see,” Jirschele said.

Contact the writer: Rob White

rob.white@owh.com    |   402-444-1027    |  

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

Some city streets remain closed
EB L Street lane to close
S.E. Neb. highway work scheduled
America’s middle class no longer on top of world
Iowa man gets 70 years in Minnesota woman’s death
4-year-old Des Moines girl dies in accidental shooting
Investigator of state's attorneys retiring in July
Owners of exotic dance bar deny prostitution allegations
Nebraska Legislature District 2: A pair of challengers Sen. Bill Kintner has seen before
$450K in needed repairs means Iowa town pulling the plug on coffeepot-shaped water tower
In Iowa, primary election is about to really kick off with early voting
More Nebraskans are electing to vote early
Nebraska's U.S. Senate candidates stick to familiar topics at Omaha forum
Obamacare: Insurance avoiders are the next big challenge
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor cries foul on affirmative action decision
Want to use mayor's suite at Lincoln's Pinnacle Bank Arena? Could cost you $1,800
Iowa ombudsman investigating complaints of mistreatment at Vets Home
Medicare database plagued by flaws
Cowboys, Indians unite in opposition to Keystone XL pipeline
Hansen: Dying a year ago, Vi proves — at 87 — that it's never too late for a comeback
Williamsen, Mavericks limit Creighton offense in win
Kelly: Started at a dining room table, Home Instead thriving at 20 with $1B in annual revenue
'Main street' concept is takes shape at Sterling Ridge
Omaha woman, 30, battling breast cancer for third time
Run Wild to benefit Wildlife Conservation Fund
ON TWITTER »

TODAY'S LOCAL SCOREBOARD
Wednesday's Top Events
College baseball
Iowa at Creighton, 6:30 p.m. (Live stats)

Game Time, TV/Radio Schedule
Wednesday's Area Events
Wednesday's TV/Radio Schedule

Prep Results
NEPrepZone.com (mobile)

Others
Honors
Holes in One
Dog Racing Results
Horse Racing Entries, Horse Racing Results
VIDEO »
Deadline Deal thumbnail
Tokyo Sushi
$5 for $10 or $10 for $20 toward All-You-Can-Eat Sushi Purchase
Buy Now
PHOTO GALLERIES »
< >
SPOTLIGHT »
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.
WORLD-HERALD ALERTS »
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for Omaha.com'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 »