“What is a ‘Ronza’?”
This was the question of the minute Saturday morning during a SportsCenter segment on the Omaha Storm Chasers’ “Runza Night” at Werner Park.
Morning hosts Ellen Duncan and Matt Barrie, both wearing the signature green and yellow Omaha Runzas jerseys, introduce the Midwest delicacy with all the fanfare you could hope for.
With “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” playing, Barrie explained that a Runza (pronouncing it ‘Ron-za’) is an “enclosed bun full of beef and cabbage, served by the regional fast food chain bearing the same name.”
The two then took a tour of all the “Ronza” merchandise and apparel available, including the fanny pack — or “Ronza holder” as Duncan calls it — that the first 1,000 to enter Werner Park will receive at tonight’s game.
DUH NA NA! DUH NA NA!
— Cazadores de Tormentas (@OMAStormChasers) June 8, 2019
In the end, the duo are presented Runzas to try. Barrie can’t wait. Duncan says no way.
Before taking a bite, Barrie finally pronounces Runza correctly in an original joke about the food possibly having an adverse affect on his digestive system, asking, “Is Matt going to get the ‘Runzas,’ if I eat the ‘Ronza?'”
Later, on Twitter, the Omaha Runzas shared their excitement about the shoutout, tweeting:
“Tonight’s our 2nd annual Runza Night, and what better way to start the day than with an appearance on @SportsCenter this morning! #HOMERUNZA.”
The team followed it up by poking fun at the hosts’ pronunciation, with photos of Ron Weasley from “Harry Potter” and Ron Swanson from “Parks and Recreation” both wearing Runza uniforms.
The Omaha Storm Chasers remain undefeated as the Runzas, defeating El Paso 7-6
Omaha, historically, hasn’t fared well on specialty jersey nights at Werner Park.
As the Runzas, however, the Storm Chasers remained unbeaten.
Omaha edged league-leading El Paso 7-6 in a wild back-and-forth game Saturday, scoring the winning run in walk-off fashion when Humberto Arteaga’s liner to left fell under the glove of diving Michael Gettys.
Nick Dini scored from second to give the Chasers a win on Runzas night for the second straight year.
Omaha trailed by a run entering the ninth, then pulled even when Jorge Bonifacio ripped a 421-foot solo home run off hard-throwing reliever Andres Munoz. Bonifacio had a potential homer taken away earlier.
With the Chasers down 4-3 in the sixth, the Omaha outfielder drove a long fly ball to center that appeared to bounce off the top of the wall, hit behind it and then land back into the field of play. Bubba Starling scored from first on the play to tie the game as Bonifacio pulled into third with a stand-up triple.
The blast was then ruled a home run, giving the Chasers a short-lived 5-4 lead. Then that call was reversed and Bonifacio was sent back to third. He immediately scored after when Dietrich Enns balked.
That set the stage for a crazy finish. Omaha blew the lead in the top of the ninth when Esteban Quiroz hit a go-ahead two-run homer after two Chasers infielders collided on a pop fly that dropped near third.
The Chihuahuas had leads of 1-0, 2-1, 4-3 and 6-5 before their six-game winning streak ended on the RBI double by Arteaga. Six Omaha players recorded two hits in the victory. Bonifacio and Dini each drove in two runs, and Starling raised his team-best average to .346 with a single and a double.
Ty France, who was sent down from San Diego on Thursday, had three hits for El Paso, the only PCL team with 40 wins to date.
San Diego prospect Francisco Mejia launched a 507-foot home run, which left his bat at 110 miles per hour, in the sixth.
Brett Phillips had a solo shot for Omaha, which got only 3⅔ innings out of starter Zach Lovvorn. Phillips had two hits to raise his average to .209.
Ben Lively (3-1) was credited with a win after blowing a save opportunity.