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PCL baseball: Bees’ season ends with 10-5 loss

(Scott Sommerdorf | The Salt Lake Tribune) Members of the Bees groundscrew prepare the field at Spring Mobile Ballpark with a backdrop of storm clouds prior to game 4 of the PCL Championship Series against the Omaha Storm Chasers, Saturday, September 14, 2013.

By Steve Luhm

The Salt Lake Tribune

First published Sep 14 2013 10:01PM
Updated Feb 14, 2014 11:34PM

The Bees’ season ended Saturday night, one step short of a Pacific Coast League championship.

Omaha’s Lane Adams drove in four runs, including three on a controversial triple in the eighth inning, to lead the Storm Chasers to a 10-5 win over Salt Lake in Game 4 of the PCL finals at Spring Mobile Ballpark.

Omaha won the best-of-five series, 3-1.

Efren Navarro went 3-for-5 including a two-run homer, but it wasn’t enough to carry the Bees, who trailed all the way.

Omaha jumped ahead in the first inning, with considerable help from Salt Lake.

After Irving Falu’s leadoff single, Christian Colon hit what should have been a double-play grounder to third baseman Rusty Ryal. Falu was forced out, but Salt Lake second baseman Matt Long dropped the ball on the relay while transferring it from his glove to his throwing hand.

Colon was safe at first, and one out later, he raced to third when Ben Broussard singled on an 0-2 pitch. Rey Navarro and Brian Fletcher followed with RBI singles.

The Storm Chasers made it 3-0 when Adams lined a high slider into left field, although Fletcher was thrown out trying to take third to finally end the inning.

Meanwhile, the Bees squandered their early chances despite touching Omaha starter Brian Sanches for seven hits in three innings.

In the first, Efren Navarro came up with two on and one out but grounded into a double play.

In the second, Scott Cousins, Drew Heid and Luke Carlin singled to load the bases with one out. But Ryal fanned and Tommy Field grounded into a force play.

In the third, Roberto Lopez and Luis Rodriguez singled. With two out, though, Cousins bounced out to retire the side.

Salt Lake finally broke through in the fifth. With one out, Lopez walked before Navarro drilled a 1-1 pitch over the fence in right.

With the Bees within a run at 3-2, however, Omaha quickly countered in the top of the sixth. Rey Navarro doubled, and on the first pitch, Fletcher drove him home with a sharp single up the middle.

In the eighth, Omaha broke the game open.

Four straight batters reached off reliever Robert Coello, who walked in a run to make it 5-2. Adams followed with a ground ball down the third base line, which umpire Scott Mahoney called foul.

Wisely, the Storm Chaser runners kept circling the bases when they saw Mahoney turn and chase Adams’ hit into the Salt Lake bullpen — something he’d do only if the ball was fair. By the time the Bees got it back to the infield, three runs scored.

After Mahoney conferred with the other three umpires, Salt Lake manager Keith Johnson was informed of the mistaken call and Adams was credited with a three-run triple.

Game over. Series over. Season over.

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