Storm Chasers designated hitter Erick Mejia and center fielder Brett Phillips each drove in two runs and catcher Nick Dini homered in support of starting pitcher Arnaldo Hernandez ‘s five-plus shutout innings in Omaha’s 9-2 win over the Nashville Sounds in front of 8,002 fans on Friday night at Werner Park.
Omaha started the scoring in the opening frame via 1B Ryan O’Hearn ‘s RBI single to left-center. That one-run margin would remain the same until single tallies in the fifth and sixth innings, including Dini’s solo blast in the fifth, extended the advantage to three. Mejia would then slap a two-run triple to right as part of a three-run seventh to make it a 6-0 lead.
Nashville would end the Storm Chasers’ hopes of consecutive shutouts in the eighth with a single score. Omaha, however, would strike right back with a trio of tallies in the last of the eighth, highlighted by Phillips’ two-run tripe to right-center.
Mejia (2-4, 3 R, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI) was the lone Storm Chasers batter to record a multi-hit effort, while Phillips (1-2, 2 R, 3B, 2 RBI, 2 BB) reached base three times. Nashville LF Scott Heineman (3-3, R, 2B, 3B, BB) posted a game-high three hits in the contest.
Hernandez (5.1 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K) earned the win with 5.1 scoreless innings of work, snapping his three-game losing skid, with Josh Staumont (1.2 IP, H, R, ER, 2 BB, K) and Richard Lovelady (2.0 IP, H, R, ER, 3 K) finishing the job. Sounds starter Austin Bibens–Dirkx (5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, BB, 5 K) suffered the defeat.
The two teams are expected to square off again on Saturday evening for the third game of their four-game set. First pitch at Werner Park is scheduled for 7:05pm CT.