A two-run blast by Roger Kieschnick and six shutout innings from Andrew Chafin propelled the Reno Aces past the Omaha Storm Chasers, 2-1, Friday night at Werner Park.
The win gives the Aces a two-games-to-one lead in the best-of-five series. The road win has the Aces one win away from another Pacific Coast League Championship.
On a chilly night, Chafin cooled the Storm Chasers' bats from the start. He faced one over the minimum through the first three innings, allowing only a one-out single to Brett Hayes in the second.
Omaha starter Sugar Ray Marimon was equally impressive early on. The right-hander kept the Aces off the scoreboard until the sixth inning. Nick Ahmed led off the frame with a double down the right-field line. Kieschnick followed with a two-run blast to right-center on a 0-1 pitch from Marimon.
Omaha put a runner on in each of the fourth through six innings but came away empty. Chafin finished his night by getting Hayes to fly out to center with Paulo Orlando at first. The left-hander allowed only four hits, one walk and struck out four.
In 15 innings this postseason, Chafin has not allowed a run and has yielded only eight hits and one walk while recording nine strikeouts.
Jess Todd and Kevin Munson worked the seventh and eighth for Reno without much resistance. Todd retired the side in order in the seventh, and Munson stranded two runners in the eighth when he struck out Matt Fields.
In the ninth, Hayes reached for the third time with a double down the left-field line. The Storm Chasers got on the board when Brett Eibner lined a base hit to right-field, scoring Hayes. Jake Barrett came back and got Cheslor Cuthbert to bounce into a 4-6-3 double play for the first two outs in the inning. He then got Brian Bocock to hit a weak groundball to first that Danny Dorn handled for the final out.
Game four of the series is scheduled for Saturday afternoon at Werner Park. Right-hander Charles Brewer (1-0, 4.26) will start for the Aces against right-hander Andy Ferguson (0-0, 0.00) for the Storm Chasers. First pitch is scheduled for 12:05 PST.