The Oklahoma City RedHawks had late leads slip away in each of their two games Tuesday, falling twice against the Omaha Storm Chasers at Werner Park.
In the first game the Storm Chasers (49-55) trailed by one in the ninth inning but tied it up and eventually won 4-3 in 11 innings. Down 2-1 with two outs in their final at bat in the second game, they rallied for two runs and won 3-2.
The RedHawks and Storm Chasers began the day resuming a game that had been suspended on June 8. When play began, the Storm Chasers led 1-0 and had runners and second and third with two outs. RedHawks pitcher Asher Wojciechowski got Ben Broussard to pop out, keeping it a one-run game.
Given another chance to extend the lead in his next at bat, Broussard would convert in the third inning. He knocked an RBI double with two outs to give the Storm Chasers a 2-0 edge.
The RedHawks (55-49) did not have a hit and only had one runner reach base through four innings, but they changed that in the fifth. With two on and none out, Jimmy Paredes blasted a three-run homer to left-center field to give the RedHawks the lead.
Thanks to a strong pitching performance by Wojciechowski, the RedHawks stayed in front heading into the ninth inning. Following a ground rule double with nobody out in the ninth, the RedHawks had runners at second and third.
However, they would not score, and the missed opportunity to extend the lead would be crucial as Omaha tied the game in the bottom of the ninth.
Leading off the inning, Quintin Berry quickly fell down 0-2, but then took four straight pitches from Josh Zeid outside the strike zone to draw a walk. After Berry was put in scoring position with a sacrifice bunt, Christian Colon tied the game with an RBI single.
In the bottom of the tenth, Omaha put winning run at third base with none out, but Zeid and Alex Sogard combined to work out of the jam and keep the game tied.
With two outs in the top of the 11th, Jimmy Paredes sent a deep drive to the fence in left field before Wily Taveras made a catch at the wall.
Omaha was able to push across the winning run in the bottom of the inning. With runners at first and second with two out, Seratelli sent a single into left field off Sogard (2-1) to give the Storm Chasers the come-from-behind victory.
For the RedHawks, it was their league-leading fifth loss after when leading after eight innings. Omaha notched its second win of the year when trailing after eight, with both wins against the RedHawks.
Will Smith (6-3) earned the win, tossing two scoreless and hitless innings.
For the third time this season, Wojciechowski was denied a win after a ninth-inning comeback by the opposition. He allowed one run and seven hits over 7.1 innings with two walks and two strikeouts.
It was unfortunately more of the same in the nightcap. The RedHawks once again could sustain a late lead, as the Storm Chasers pulled off another late comeback.
Trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning, the Storm Chasers scored twice to win. Christian Colon singled with one away, but he was caught stealing second base for the second out.
Having none on and two out did not deter the Storm Chasers. Wily Taveras drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch that barely missed. Pinch-hitter Max Ramirez came up next and delivered a single with two strikes to keep the game alive.
With Irving Falu at the plate, Rhiner Cruz (0-2) uncorked a wild pitch, putting both runners in scoring position. Two pitches later Falu sent a high fly ball to deep left field. Robbie Grossman jumped at the wall, but the ball was out of his reach and went off the wall for a game-winning two-run double.
The RedHawks had led for virtually the entire game up to that point. They took advantage of an error by Omaha in the second inning and plated a run with a sac fly by Jose Martinez.
The score sat at 1-0 until the top of the fifth. With two outs, Grossman doubled off the wall in center field and Marwin Gonzalez followed with an RBI single to extend the lead to 2-0.
Omaha got on the board in the bottom of the inning with a sac fly by Mitch Canham, cutting the lead back down to 2-1.
The Storm Chasers offense eventually picked up starting pitcher Brian Sanches, who turned in a complete game victory. Sanches (7-2) tossed a season-high seven innings, allowing two runs (one earned) and seven hits. He struck out two and walked one.
The RedHawks also received a strong start from Bobby Doran. Brought up from Double-A Corpus Christi to make a spot start, Doran allowed one run and five hits over 5.1 innings. He struck out two and walk one, settling for a no decision.
The teams will have a quick turnaround and meet again at 12:05 p.m.