Storm Chasers Take Opener 7-0

The Omaha Storm Chasers (1-0), behind a dominant start from wins leader Aaron Brooks, shut out the Memphis Redbirds (0-1) 7-0 in the opener of the American Conference Championship Series. It was the largest playoff shutout win in Omaha's 46-year franchise history.

Brooks spun eight shutout innings, the longest scoreless start of the season by any Omaha starter, while matching a career high with ten strikeouts in his first career postseason game. With the eight scoreless innings, which also matches the longest playoff start for the Chasers in the last four years, Brooks has now tossed 20.0 consecutive shutout innings dating back to the last five innings of his complete game on August 23 at Tacoma. He has also allowed only six runs in 37.0 innings (1.46 ERA) in five straight wins.

It was not just superb pitching, as Omaha turned in a total team effort with three home runs all by players making their Triple-A postseason debut. Matt Fields provided the major blow in the game with a three-run shot with two outs in the fifth, his 29th on the season counting regular season and postseason, and his fifth home run in his last five games. Cheslor Cuthbert hit a solo homer and Whit Merrifield finished off the scoring with a two-run shot in the seventh.

Omaha has now won four straight playoff games at Werner Park, and have won six of their last seven PCL Playoffs series openers. All five previous times the Chasers have taken the opening game of a series, they have gone on to win it. Omaha is now two wins away from becoming just the second modern era PCL team (and third ever) to reach four straight PCL Championship Rounds.

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