Omaha catcher Andrew Susac smashed a grand slam and first baseman Cheslor Cuthberttallied four hits, including two doubles, and drove in four runs as the Storm Chasers topped the Oklahoma City Dodgers 11-9 on Friday night at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
Omaha struck early with a five-run first frame highlighted by Susac’s grand slam. The Dodgers rallied back however, totaling six runs over the next three innings to grab a 6-5 advantage after four frames. The Storm Chasers, though, countered right back as Cuthbert and RF Bubba Starling clubbed RBI doubles in the fifth to put Omaha back ahead 7-6. That margin would then be extended to five in the subsequent frame courtesy of two-run doubles by SS Erick Mejia and Cuthbert.
Dodgers LF Zach Reks tightened the deficit to four with solo shot in the last of the sixth, while 2B Drew Jackson and SS Daniel Castro smacked run-scoring singles in the seventh, narrowing Omaha’s lead to 11-9. That score would remain the same, however, with Storm Chasers reliever Kevin McCarthy firing the final two frames to shut the door on the Dodgers.
Cuthbert (4-5, 2 R, 2 2B, 4 RBI) posted a game-high four knocks, with Mejia (3-5, 3 R, 2B, 2 RBI), Starling (2-5, R, 2B, RBI) and SS Humberto Arteaga (2-5, R) adding multi-hit efforts. Oklahoma City RF Cameron Perkins(3-5, 2 R, RBI) and Jackson (2-5, R, 2B, 2 RBI) recorded three and two hits in the contest, respectively. Cuthbert extended his hit streak to ten games and has also tallied at least one extra-base hit in each of his last six matchups.
In addition to McCarthy (2.0 IP, BB, K) receiving his team-best third save, Omaha starter Foster Griffin (5.0 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 K) earned his team-leading fourth victory. Dodgers starter Mitchell White (4.2 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 7 ER, BB, K) suffered the defeat in his Triple-A debut.
Omaha and Oklahoma City continue their five-game series on Saturday night, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05pm CT. The Storm Chasers are anticipated to send RHP Scott Blewett (2-3, 6.95) to the hill, while the Dodgers are slated to give the ball to RHP Dennis Santana (0-2, 5.17).
Following their nine-game road trip, Omaha returns to Werner Park on Tuesday, May 21 to begin a nine-game homestand. First pitch of the series opener versus the Iowa Cubs that evening is set for 6:35pm CT.