Papillion, NB – Jaycob Brugman delivered a tie-breaking two-run double in the top of the ninth inning to send the Nashville Sounds to an 8-6 win over the Omaha Storm Chasers Saturday night at Werner Park.
Brugman’s clutch hit finished off a 3-for-4 night in which he drove three runs and scored another. Josh Rodriguez helped the cause with a 3-for-3 night with three runs scored. The two also combined to draw four walks.
At 73-55, the Sounds’ magic number is at eight with 16 games to play. They lead second-place New Orleans by nine games in the American Southern Division standings.The back-and-forth game started with a bang when Matt Olson launched his 14th home run of the season – a two-run jack to deep right field to give Nashville an early 2-0 lead.
Brugman, who singled in the first ahead of Olson’s homer, collected his second hit of the night in the second when he lined a two-out double down the right field line to score Bryan Anderson to make it 3-0.
Omaha’s Hunter Dozier cut into the lead when he drilled a solo homer off Chris Jensen in the bottom of the second. In the fifth, Dusty Coleman took the right-hander deep to make it 3-2.
More two-out hitting gave the Sounds two runs in the sixth. After the first two batters were retired, Anderson tripled off the wall in right field, and Rodriguez lined a double down the right field line to extend the lead to 4-2. After Brugman walked, Joey Wendle lined a base hit to right to give Nashville a 5-2 cushion.
It appeared it would stay that way through the sixth until Colin Walsh misplayed a fly ball in right field. A catch would have ended the inning with no runs scored. Instead, a run scored on the play and then Bubba Starling followed with a game-tying two-run double.
The problems continued when Parker Morin greeted Sean Doolittle with a solo homer in the seventh. Working in his third rehab game, Doolittle served up the long ball that gave Omaha their first lead at 6-5.
The Sounds rallied again as Rodriguez scored the tying run with two outs in the top of the eighth on a passed ball by Morin.
In the ninth, Rangel Ravelo drew a walk to spark another rally. Anderson dropped down a successful sacrifice and Rodriguez followed with an infield single to put runners at the corners with one out. Facing Malcom Culver, Brugman lined a two-run double off the right field wall to give the Sounds an 8-6 lead.
Bobby Wahl worked around a lead-off walk in the ninth to notch his second save. He used a 4-6-3 double play to secure the win.
Angel Castro, who pitched a scoreless bottom of the eighth, picked up his second win of the season. Culver was tagged with the loss, his fifth.
Game two of the four-game series is scheduled for Sunday afternoon at Werner Park. Right-hander Jharel Cotton (10-6, 4.35) starts for the Sounds against right-hander Jake Junis (1-1, 4.50) for the Storm Chasers. First pitch is scheduled for 2:05pm.
Tickets for the 2016 Pacific Coast League playoff dates at First Tennessee Park are now available for purchase at the Nashville Sounds box office and online at www.nashvillesounds.com
The 2016 season is the Sounds’ 19th year in the Pacific Coast League and their second as the Oakland Athletics’ top affiliate.