Sky Sox Rally Late to Defeat Redbirds in Series Opener
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The Sky Sox defeated the Memphis Redbirds 10-5 in the series opener on Thursday night at Security Service Field after a back and forth game that saw both teams commit three errors apiece. The Redbirds took a 5-4 lead in the top of the seventh, but the Sky Sox exploded for six runs in the bottom half of the inning to go up 10-5 and take game one. With the victory, the Sky Sox still remain a half game back of Oklahoma City in the American North.
The scoring got going right off the bat with each side putting up a solo run in the first. Memphis struck first on the board after Oscar Mercado led off with a double to left field while a wild pitch and a passed ball would bring him home before the side was retired.
In the bottom half, the Sky Sox came right back to tie the game at 1-1 after Ji-Man Choi knocked a one-out single to bring around a speeding Eric Sogard, who doubled to left field.
Brett Phillips broke the tie in the bottom of the third after his one-out double to right field brought around Sogard from second base, who led off the inning with a walk, to give Colorado Springs the 2-1 advantage. Then, in the fourth, Sky Sox starter Corbin Burnes helped his cause with a sacrifice fly to right field to extend the Sky Sox lead to 3-1 in the 4th.
The Redbirds got things going in the fifth after the first three batters got on to load the bases (double, walk, walk). With no outs, Max Schrock hit a high bouncing groundball to third base to get the first out at first base while Memphis plated one to minimize the deficit to a run. Following another walk to reload the bases, Tyler O'Neill hit a groundball to shortstop Nate Orf, who failed to turn for a force out at second base after dropping the ball, which also brought in the tying run. The Redbirds would take the 4-3 lead after the next batter Yairo Munoz hit a comeback grounder to Burnes, and a dropped ball at the plate for the force out allowed the go-ahead run.
Burnes exited the ballgame with one out in the top of the fifth and would finish after four and one-third with three earned runs on five hits, three walks, and six strikeouts. Reliever Tristan Archer was able to complete the half without any more damage after two consecutive outs via a strikeout and groundout.
Down a run and with one out in the sixth, Keon Broxton slugged his fifth home run of the season to tie the game at 4-4. It marked his first home run since April 14 at Security Service Field against Round Rock.
After Memphis went up by a run in the top of the seventh, the Sky Sox offense exploded, taking a lap through the lineup with five hits, a walk, and the assistance of two errors in the start of the frame to gain six runs and go up 10-5. That proved to be the final, as the Sky Sox took game one of the series.
The Sky Sox continue into the second game of the series against the Memphis Redbirds at Security Service Field tomorrow at 6:40 p.m. Tomorrow's game features Fort Carson Appreciation Night with post-game fireworks presented by USAA and Pueblo Motorsports Park. The Sky Sox will also debut the "Cheers the 45 More Years" 1950's Sky Sox replica jerseys, which will be auctioned off at the end of the month and can be bid on SkySoxJerseys.com. For all information on Sky Sox, follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and visit the team's website at www.skysox.com.
Tomorrow's Expectation: In the second game of the four-game set against the Memphis Redbird, the Sky Sox are sending righty Alec Asher to the mound to face righty Daniel Poncedeleon for the Redbirds.
Ke-Boom: Keon Broxton knocked his fifth home run of the season and his first since April 14 against Round Rock at home. Broxton's first four home runs came within the first seven games of season when he hit one on Opening Day (April 5) and hit home runs in three straight games between 4/10 and 4/14.
Green Light: The stolen base-leading Colorado Springs Sky Sox nabbed six more bases Thursday night and now total 59 as a team in 2018. The closest team to the Sky Sox among the league is Sacramento with 36 total stolen bags. The last time the Sky Sox stole six bags or more came last season on July 4 against Nashville. They also completed the feat on May 24, 1999 at Iowa (10 innings).
He Continues: On Thursday night, Kyle Wren's pinch-hit and, yet again, got on base. In one at-bat, he walked. Wren has only recorded three instances in 2018 where he did not get on base, all recorded in the month of May.
Team Cycle: The Sky Sox completed a team-cycle with their four extra-base hits on Thursday night. Eric Sogard and Brett Phillips both doubled while Moore hit a triple and Keon Broxton knocked a home run. Colorado Springs totaled 14 hits to start of the four-game series with Memphis.
Scoring In The First: The Sky Sox added to their first inning scoring ways once again Thursday evening after plating one. They now outscore teams in the first inning 27-17 in 2018.
300 Club: A week ago, Kyle Wren became the 18th player in Sky Sox history with 300 regular season games played. As of Thursday night, Wren has now tied Choo Freeman and Jayhawk Owens for 16th with 303 regular season games played.
Comin' Up Clutch: Colorado native Shane Opitz has been putting together clutch at-bats as of late for the Sky Sox. On Monday, he slugged his first home run of the season in his only at-bat of the game. On Thursday, he knocked a one-out pinch-hit RBI single to right field.
This Week's Preview: The Sky Sox are in midst of an eight-game, nine-day homestand. Earlier in the week, the Sky Sox hosted the Oklahoma City Dodgers for four games. Currently, Colorado Springs is taking on the Memphis Redbirds for four games. The Sky Sox hit the road for nine games, taking on Nashville and Memphis.
NEXT GAME: Friday, May 18 vs. Memphis Redbirds - 6:40 p.m. MDT @ Security Service Field
RHP Alec Asher (2-0, 2.12) vs. RHP Daniel Poncedeleon (2-2, 2.41)-| Broadcast on XTRA Sports 1300
Fort Carson Appreciation Night with Post-Game Fireworks presented by USAA & Pueblo Motorsports Park
And the debut of 1950 Sky Sox Tribute Jerseys worn on-field
COS TOP PERFORMERS
- Keon Broxton (4-for-4, 3 R, 2 RBI, HR, 2 SB)
- Dylan Moore (2-for-3, 3 RBI, 3B, R, 2 SB)
- Ji-Man Choi (2-for-2, RBI)
MEM TOP PERFORMERS
- Oscar Mercado (2-for-3, 2 R, 2B)
- Patrick Wisdom (1-for-5, RBI, 2B)
Yairo Muniz (1-for-5, 2B)
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