PCL PLAYOFFS: RENO 4, OMAHA 2 Series tied 1-1
RENO, Nev. — The PCL championship series is headed to Omaha tied at a game apiece.
Aided by a controversial call at second base in the top of the eighth inning, Reno pulled even in the best-of five final by holding off the Storm Chasers 4-2 Wednesday at Aces Ballpark.
The teams will meet at Werner Park for Game 3 at 7:05 Friday night.
Omaha had runners on the corners in a two-run game with no outs in the eighth when Pedro Ciriaco hit a ground ball to Argenis Diaz. Reno's second baseman got the ball to shortstop Nick Ahmed, who turned a double play as the Chasers' Paul Janish raced home from third base.
Second-base umpire Kolin Kline, however, ruled that the runner heading to second, Whit Merrifield, had interfered with Ahmed on the play. Janish, who had seemingly cut the Aces lead to one, was forced to return to third as the play was ruled dead at the time of the interference.
Chasers manager Brian Poldberg was ejected for arguing the call. Reno reliever Kevin Munson then got Paulo Orlando to fly out to right field to end the Omaha threat.
Closer Jake Barrett pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to save the win for starter Bradin Hagens, who limited the Chasers to a run on five hits through six innings. He left the game holding a 4-1 lead.
The Aces got all of their runs in the second. Omaha starter John Lamb walked the bases loaded before giving up consecutive two-out hits to Mike Freeman and Ahmed. Two runs scored on each hit.
The Chasers got a run back when Merrifield doubled with two outs in the sixth and scored on a single by Ciriaco. Janish later doubled in Brian Bocock to open the eighth before Merrifield singled to set the stages for a potential late-inning rally. The double-play ball and interference call on the ensuing at-bat by Ciriaco spoiled Omaha's chances to come from behind.
Merrifield had four of Omaha's eight hits on the night.
GAME 3: RENO AT OMAHA
7:05 p.m. Friday
Werner Park • 1180 AM KZOT Reno LH Andrew Chafin (5-6, 5.34 ERA) vs. RH Sugar Ray Marimon (5-4, 3.56)