Storm Chasers first baseman Ryan O’Hearn tallied two hits and drove in a run, however Iowa right fielderMark Zagunis and first baseman Trent Giambrone each homered while three Cubs relievers combined for five shutout innings in a 4-1 win over Omaha on Thursday night at Principal Park.
After Iowa struck first in the third, O’Hearn immediately answered in the fourth for the Storm Chasers to even the contest at 1-1. Zagunis and Giambrone would each go deep in the last of the fourth, however, to leap ahead 3-1. 3B Phillip Evans later added a sacrifice fly in the sixth to increase the margin to three.
SS Dixon Machado (2-4, 2B, RBI) recorded two knocks for Iowa, while O’Hearn (2-4, RBI) and 3B KelvinGutierrez (2-4, R, 2B) each posted multi-hit efforts for Omaha. The defeat was the sixth straight road contest dropped by the Storm Chasers, their longest such skid since 2017.
After Cubs starter Jeffrey Passantino (4.0 IP, 4 H, R, ER, BB, 6 K) fired the first four innings, the relief trio ofCraig Brooks (2.0 IP, 2 K), James Norwood (2.0 IP, 3 K) and Rowan Wick (1.0 IP, H, K) combined to yield a lone hit in five scoreless frames. Brooks earned the win and Wick notched his fourth save, with Omaha southpaw Eric Skoglund (7.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, BB, 4 K) suffered the defeat.
The two teams are set to meet for the final time in 2019, with the series finale set for 7:05pm CT at Principal Park.
Omaha returns to Werner Park on Thursday July 4 to start a four-game set with the Nashville Sounds, with that night’s series opener featuring the “Biggest Fireworks in the Omaha Metro” as part of the 51st Annual First National Bank Independence Fireworks Spectacular. First pitch of the series opener is scheduled for 7:05pm CT.