Omaha first baseman Samir Duenez belted a two-run home run for his first Triple-A, shortstop Nicky Lopezreached base three more times and left fielder Jorge Bonifacio drove in two runs, however the Express steamed ahead thanks to three longballs in Round Rock’s 8-6 win over the Storm Chasers on Thursday evening at Werner Park.
Bonifacio drove in his first run with a double down the left field line in the bottom of the first to answer the Express’ two-run top of the frame. C Jamie Ritchie and 2 Alex De Goti , however, immediately answered by blasting back-to-back solo homers in the second to extend the lead to 4-1. Omaha C Andrew Susac narrowed the margin to two again courtesy of a run-scoring single to left.
Following Round Rock’s single tally in the third, Bonifacio clubbed another RBI double to left prior to CF Bubba Starling ‘s sacrifice fly, which cut the Storm Chasers’ deficit to one. That was as close as Omaha would get, however, as Express LF Kyle Tucker laced a two-run homer to right in the fifth to extend the lead to 7-4. Duenez mashed his two-run shot to right-center in the sixth to answer Round Rock’s single tally in the top of the frame, cutting the Express’ lead back to 8-6.
Round Rock 3B Nick Tanielu (2-5) and SS Myles Straw (2-3, 2 R, 2 BB) each posted multi-hit efforts, with Bonifacio (2-5, 2 2B, 2 RBI), Susac (2-3, RBI, BB) and SS Erick Mejia (2-5, R) adding two knocks apiece for the Storm Chasers. Lopez (1-3, 2 R, 2 BB) reached base in three of his five plate appearances, and now owns a .452 on-base percentage through 28 games with Omaha this year.
Express righty Brady Rodgers (4.0 IP, 3H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 K) earned the victory to improve to 4-0, whileBrendan McCurry (1.0 IP, H, BB, 2 K) notched his second save. Storm Chasers righty Josh Staumont (1.0 IP, H, 2 R, 0 ER, BB, K) suffered the defeat.
Omaha and Round Rock are scheduled to complete their four-game series on Friday night, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. CT. The Storm Chasers are anticipated to give the ball to RHP Kyle Zimmer (1-1, 8.25), with RHP Forrest Whitley (0-2, 10.43) expected to toe the rubber for the Express.