After winning the first two games of the series, the Omaha Storm Chasers (60-56) will have to settle for a series split with the Iowa Cubs (63-56), as their I-80 rival took the finale by a score of 7-4. Omaha is right back where they started at the beginning of the series at 1.5 games behind the division-leading I-Cubs.
During the eight games against the Memphis Redbirds and the Iowa Cubs, the Omaha Storm Chasers set an all-time attendance record for an eight-game homestand with 56,072 fans at Werner Park. The number breaks the record of 55,394 which was set during the inaugural 2011 season on August 3-10, 2011, and the Storm Chasers saw an average of 7,009 fans per game during the eight games this past week. The record comes off the highest per game average for the month of July in Werner Park history, as the Storm Chasers had 6,860 fans per game over their 14 July openings.
The Cubs jumped all over Omaha starter Buddy Baumann for six runs in three innings with top prospect Jorge Soler leading the way, as he had three-run scoring hits and ended a triple shy of the cycle. The Chasers chipped away at the lead and had an eighth inning rally to load the bases for Justin Maxwell down 7-3, and he nearly tied the game with a fly ball caught at the left field wall. Omaha once again threatened in the ninth down 7-4 and had top homer hitter Francisco Pena up with two men on, but a diving play by Cubs centerfielder Matt Szczur ended the game.
Whit Merrifield, Johnny Giavotella and Paulo Orlando accounted for seven of the nine hits on the day and scored all four Omaha runs. Carlos Peguero drove in two to become the second Chaser to 50 or more RBI, and had 15 RBI in his 14 games against Iowa this season. Iowa takes the season series 9-7, the third time in the last four years they have bested Omaha, but the Chasers won their home season series 5-3, the first time they have done so against the I-Cubs in the history of Werner Park.
Omaha now travels to Colorado Springs for six games in five days, with the set beginning on Thursday after a league-wide off day tomorrow. In the series opener RHP Liam Hendriks (1-0, 2.57 ERA), fresh off collecting the most strikeouts in a game for Omaha in the PCL era at 12, faces off with Sky Sox RHP Jair Jurrjens (0-2, 2.50 ERA). First pitch at Security Service Field on 1180 Zone 2 The Deuce and MiLB.TV is scheduled for 7:35 p.m.