Storm Chasers second baseman D.J. Burt drove in two runs, including the game-ending sacrifice fly to right field in the ninth inning, as Omaha topped the Kansas City Royals 3-2 in front of a Werner Park record crowd of 9,351 fans on Monday night at the Royals Exhibition Game presented by Cobalt Credit Union.
Prior to the contest, the Storm Chasers and Royals front office announced the longest Triple-A alliance would remain in place for another two years, extending the two clubs’ Player Development Contracts through the 2022 season. Omaha has been the Royals’ Triple-A affiliate since both clubs first began play in 1969.
“We are proud to continue the affiliation between the Storm Chasers and Royals,” said Storm Chasers President and General Manager Martie Cordaro. “We have enjoyed the longest and one of the strongest relationships in all of Triple-A Baseball. We look forward to growing our relationship with the Royals even more in the upcoming seasons.”
“Omaha has been a great affiliate of the Kansas City Royals for many years and we are proud to be extending with the Storm Chasers through 2022,” said Royals Vice President/Assistant General Manager of Player Personnel. “Our relationship with the Storm Chasers ownership group, front office and fan base creates the perfect environment for us. We are thankful for all Omaha does and how our players are embraced within the community.”
The game marked the first time the Storm Chasers’ parent club had played in Omaha since 2000, when the two teams played to a scoreless draw at Rosenblatt Stadium. Monday’s contest was leaning towards a similar even finish before Burt’s heroics.
3B Angelo Castellano reached on a single to open the ninth, then promptly stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error. Two batters later, Burt bashed a fly ball to right to bring Castellano across and cue the celebration.
The Royals wasted no time jumping ahead, plating the game’s first run in the opening frame. After LF Whit Merrifield reached on an error, SS Adalberto Mondesi smashed a run-scoring triple to the center field wall to push Kansas City ahead 1-0. Omaha DH Erick Mejia matched the Royals’ tally in the fourth with an RBI single to left. Burt would give the Storm Chasers their first lead with an run-scoring single up the middle, however Royals C Cam Gallagher lifted a sacrifice fly of his own in the eighth to draw the contest back even.
The Storm Chasers begin Pacific Coast League play on the road against the Memphis Redbirds on Thursday, April 4. Omaha begins their home slate at Werner Park on Tuesday, April 9 versus the Oklahoma City Dodgers. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35pm.