Nashville Shut Out By Omaha, 1-0

Sounds3The Sounds and Storm Chasers were scoreless through nine innings in Friday night’s pitchers’ duel at First Tennessee Park, but Omaha scored in the tenth and secured a 1-0 win.

The neck of the guitar-shaped scoreboard at First Tennessee Park displayed zeros on both sides for nine innings. Finally in the tenth, Omaha’s designated hitter Casey Kotchman lifted a sacrifice fly to left that scored Paulo Orlando for the game’s only tally. It was the second straight one-run contest that went the Storm Chasers’ direction to open the series.

The first eight frames of the Friday night game breezed by without much offense. The pair of teams combined for 10 hits and 13 strikeouts during that time and the contest remained a scoreless tie until the tenth. The Sounds had eight chances in the first eight innings with runners in scoring position, but were hitless and had nothing to claim on the scoreboard.

Both teams compiled their best looks at breaking the tie when the ninth inning rolled around. Omaha loaded the bases with one away in their half of the frame, but a web gem stopped the threat. With the infield drawn in, leadoff man Whit Merrifield hit a sharp grounder to short that was stopped on a dive by Niuman Romero. The infielder lofted it to his double play partner at second, Joey Wendle, who zipped a throw to first escape the jam.

The Sounds got a leadoff double from Anthony Aliotti in the home half of the ninth and the first baseman was moved over to third on a sacrifice bunt. The prime scoring chance went to waste though, as the next two Nashville batters struck out.

A great deal of credit goes to the pitching staffs of both teams. Brad Mills was in search of his first win at home this season, but took a no-decision despite his team-leading seventh quality start. The left-hander tossed a season-high 107 pitches over seven scoreless innings, walking three and fanning five.

Dan Otero was good for two scoreless frames in relief, but R.J. Alvarez ended up with the loss after giving up his first run in his last nine games.

Omaha sent Buddy Baumann to the mound to make a spot start, and the southpaw turned in a sharp outing as well. He fanned six and surrendered just one hit through four shutout frames. Matt Murray (4.0 IP) and Louis Coleman (2.0 IP) followed in relief and suppressed the Sounds over the next six frames to secure the win.

First Tennessee Park hosted yet another impressive crowd, drawing 10,542 fans. The sell out was the Sounds’ eighth in 33 openings this season.

The third game of the series between Nashville and Omaha will take place on Saturday at First Tennessee Park. The Sounds will turn to right-hander Chris Bassitt (2-5, 3.88) for the start, while Clayton Mortensen will take the ball for the Storm Chasers.