After the second inning, the Salt Lake bats were no match for Omaha pitcher Justin Marks.
The Bees managed contact, sure, but always a grounder or a fly ball that found its way to a glove. Or worse, they sliced through thin air.
It was a rough night at the plate for the Bees, who struck out more times than they got on base in a 6-2 loss to the Storm Chasers. A two-run rally in the second was all the home team could muster, perhaps weighed down by an injured teammate on their minds.
Outfielder Trent Oeltjen was struck in the face by a runaway fastball in the fourth inning, which sent him rushing to the dugout in pain as a trainer covered his face with towels. The 30-year-old veteran left the game and was taken to a local hospital, and manager Keith Johnson said he was still unsure of the extent of the injury though it was obviously severe.
"It was a bad energy all night," he said. "We had a little bit of bad mojo going on. But it's just one game. Obviously we have to come out tomorrow and do the best we can with what we have."
The jarring incident cast a pall over the team, which struggled to close out the contest.
Down 4-2 at that point, Matt Shoemaker gave up back-to-back solo home runs to drive up the deficit. Overall, his start was uneven as he struck out five but gave up nine hits including three homers in his five innings.
Marks, on the other hand, left the Bees frustrated with his change-of-pace pitching. He lasted seven innings, not giving up a hit after John Hester's two-run double in the second.
"He mixed it up well," Johnson said. "He threw some good strikes, pitched some pitcher's pitches and kept our guys on their heels all night."
The Bees struck out 10 times, reaching base only eight.
Raptors 10, Chukars 8 • Despite committing the only two errors of the game, Ogden won at home with the help of a five-run fourth inning.
Rockies 4, Owlz 3 (10) • Ogden fell at home after Grand Junction tied the game in the top of the ninth.
Storylines Storm Chasers 6, Bees 2
R Salt Lake manages only two hits against Omaha starter Justin Marks.
• Matt Shoemaker gives up three home runs in five innings.