The Omaha Storm Chasers (70-74) are the 2013 American Conference North Division Champions, sealing the title with a 8-4 win over the Round Rock Express (73-71) after Memphis lost in Oklahoma City just about an hour before the Chasers win. It is the third straight postseason berth for Omaha, matching a franchise high for consecutive years in the playoffs.
Carlos Pena powered the Omaha win with four RBI on the day, including a first inning homer for his second long ball in just five games with the Chasers. After Memphis had lost on a walk-off RBI double in the bottom of the ninth, Omaha had their destiny in their own hands and took full advantage in the next half inning scoring four runs on a pair of RBI singles by Christian Colon and Pena and a two-out, two-RBI double by Anthony Seratelli to take a 6-2 lead. Left-hander John Lamb earned his first career Triple-A victory during the game in his third outing as a Storm Chaser.
The Storm Chasers are the only repeat team in the playoffs from a year ago, and with a 70-74 record they are also the first team in the Pacific Coast League to qualify for the postseason with a losing record since the full season qualifying format was adopted in 1998. Their opponent in the American Conference Championship will be the Oklahoma City RedHawks, who posted the best record in the PCL this season at 82-62.
The first round of the Pacific Coast League Playoffs will kick off with two games at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City on Wednesday and Thursday, with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. CDT on both nights. The only guaranteed game at Werner Park is Game Three of the series on Friday with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. CDT, and the Chasers and RedHawks will play in Omaha on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. CDT and Sunday at 2:05 p.m. CDT if necessary.
In the first game of the American Conference Championship Omaha will send out top prospect Yordano Ventura (5-4, 3.74 ERA), and the right-hander finished the 2013 regular season allowing one run or less in five of his final eight appearances. Ventura will square off with Oklahoma City right-hander Asher Wojciechowski (9-7, 3.56 ERA).