Sky Sox Walk-Off in Back-And-Forth Duel with Express
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The Sky Sox won 11-10 in walk-off fashion over the Round Rock Express Tuesday night at Security Service Field in a back-and-forth duel. Jake Hager and Domingo Santana highlighted the night offensively. Hager finished off with a five-hit night including scoring the game-winning run after his ninth-inning double while Santana hit two home runs in big situations. Despite the 11 walks surrendered by Sky Sox pitching, the bats made up for it as they posted a season second-highest 19 hits.
After the first inning, the only quiet frame of the contest, the Express broke out first with three runs in the top of the second. Willie Calhoun led off with his 28th double of the season while two outs quickly followed. With Calhoun on third, a wild pitch during Hunter Cole's at-bat allowed the run to score to make it a 1-0 game. Cole would walk and three consecutive singles by Juan Centeno, Hanser Alberto and Drew Robinson manufactured the two additional runs to extend to a 3-0 lead.
In the bottom half of the second, the Sky Sox battled back with a run to get within two, but stranded more in the situation. Christian Bethancourt led the inning off with a single off of the centerfield wall while Shane Opitz doubled and Andres Blanco drew a walk to load the bases with one out. Quintin Berry struck a line drive toward the right-side hole but first baseman Alberto made a quick-reaction catch to save a run. Hager clutched up with a two-out single to plate one before Orlando Arcia grounded out to end the frame and strand three on base.
In the third, each side would trade for a solo run to keep it at a two-run ballgame. But in the fourth, Round Rock added an additional run after Drew Robinson doubled and scored after advancing on two wild pitches to take a 5-2 lead.
The Sky Sox broke out and rallied in the bottom of the fourth to take their first lead of the game. After Blanco led the frame off with a single and Berry flied out, Hager, Arcia and Tyrone Taylor knocked consecutive singles to get within one of the leading Round Rock squad. Santana followed suit with a big fly, his first with the Sky Sox, out to right field to give the Sky Sox the 7-5 advantage.
In the top of the fifth, Round Rock evened things back up at 7-7 on three singles in the inning. In the top of the sixth, they regained the 8-7 lead on Carlos Perez's two-out single to centerfield. But, in the bottom half of the frame, Santana came in the clutch once again with a leadoff solo home run, his second of the night, to tie the game at 8-8.
The back-and-forth action continued into the seventh inning when Round Rock took the lead again. Centeno singled to start the frame while Robinson walked to put the go-ahead run into scoring position. Cliff Pennington came up with another single to left field and an error in left field allowed Centeno to score to give the Express a 9-8 advantage. A two-out wild pitch plated the 10th run for the Express.
Once again, the Sky Sox retaliated to bring the game back to even at 10 apiece in the bottom of the eighth. With one out, the red-hot Santana drew a walk and Bethancourt singled behind him. Bandy then struck a sizzling double down the third base line for his second of the game to clear the bases at tie the game at 10-10.
In the ninth, after the Express stranded the bases loaded to keep the game even, the Sky Sox came up with a rally in the bottom of the ninth. Hager sparked the inning on his fifth hit of the night with a double to right-center. After Arcia was intentionally walked, Taylor knocked the game-winning single to left field to make it a final 11-10 victory.
The Sky Sox head into game three of the series tomorrow with a 2-0 series advantage. First pitch at Security Service Field is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. Following this home series, the Sky Sox hit the road to Memphis for a three-game set against the Redbirds. 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 Preview: In the third game of the four-game series against the Round Rock Express in Colorado Springs, the Sky Sox are sending righty Aaron Brooks to the mound to face off against Round Rock's southpaw Michael Roth, who is searching for his fifth win of the season. Brooks is looking for his seventh.
Hi-Five For Hager: Infielder Jake Hager collected his third career five-hit game. On Tuesday against Round Rock, he went 5-for-6 after collecting a double and four singles with an RBI and two runs. His first five-hit game was on June 29, 2012 while with Bowling Green where he went 5-for-5 with three doubles. His last was on April 26, 2016 while with Montgomery when he went 5-for-5 (all singles).
Santana Knocks Two: Outfielder Domingo Santana knocked his first and second Sky Sox home runs in clutch fashion Tuesday night. With one out in the bottom of the fourth and down a run, he hit an opposite-field home run to make it a 7-5 Sky Sox lead. In the sixth, he hit a solo shot to tie the game up at 8-8. Before being optioned on June 23, Santana played in 62 games for the Brewers with three home runs.
Two-HR Games: Santana's two-home run game against Round Rock at home marked the first individual two-home run game since July 1 in Round Rock when Nate Orf slugged two and fourth total of the season for the Sky Sox. The last two-homer home game against Round Rock was on May 7, 2008 by Ian Stewart.
19 Hits: The Sky Sox marked a second highest mark in hits on the season with 19 against Round Rock. The most they have accrued this season so far is 20 which was met on April 30 against Nashville at home.
Another 10-Run Matchup: Tuesday night's run parade marked the eighth time where the Sky Sox and Express have both scored 10 runs each in a game against each other.
New High In Walks: The Sky Sox arms set a new high in walks this season with 11 total on the night. The previous high set this season was 10 which was set just three games prior on July 14 in New Orleans. On Tuesday night, every Sky Sox pitcher had at least one walk. The last time Sky Sox pitching gave up 11 walks at home was on April 7, 2011 against Tucson.
Home Run Count: With 20 home runs this month, the Sky Sox have tied for their second-most in a month in just 14 games. Their second highest count was 20, which was set over 29 games in May. The most they have tallied in a month came in June, which was 37 HR over 28 games.
Dillard With Two: Reliever Tim Dillard notched his second win of the season with the Sky Sox. He now is tied for 17th in most wins for a Sky Sox pitcher overall with Hiram Burgos, Pete Walker and Nate Minchey with 15 wins. 14 of Dillard's 15 wins have come in relief, which is good for a tie for fourth all-time with Scott Fredrickson (1993, 95, 96) for most wins in relief.
Sweet Tally: Manager Rick Sweet is 12 regular season wins away to pass Brad Mills for the regular season wins as Sky Sox manager and 15 wins away to pass him in overall wins with the Sky Sox.
Scoring Last: The Sky Sox are 29-14 when scoring last in a game. When scoring first in a game, the Colorado Springs squad holds a 34-16 record.
Davis 36th: Reliever Erik Davis made his 36th appearance Tuesday night, putting him into a tie for third in most games pitched across the PCL.
Former Sky Sox To MLB All-Stars: Four 2018 National League All-Stars spent time with the Sky Sox during their Triple-A campaigns: reliever Josh Hader (MIL - 2017), Charlie Blackmon (COL - 2011-13), Nolan Arenado (COL - 2013-14), and Scooter Gennett (MIL - 2015).
Ramirez' First Career Start: Since being converted to a pitcher two seasons ago, Nick Ramirez had pitched in a total of 77 games before getting his first start, which came on Monday night against the Round Rock Express. Ramirez threw four innings in the start, giving up no runs on just a sole hit with one walk while striking out a pair of Express batters.
Walk This Way: There were 17 total walks in Saturday night's contest between the Baby Cakes and the Sky Sox, with the Sky Sox issuing 10 and the Baby Cakes allowing seven free passes. The last time the Sky Sox issued at least 10 walks in a game and still won the game took place last year on May 16th, 2017 in El Paso, when the Sky Sox issued 11 walks and still beat the Chihuahuas, 15-11.
First Half Summary: The Sky Sox finished the first half of season with the third-best record in the Pacific Coast League (49-39), behind Fresno (52-37, 2nd, Pacific North) and Memphis (56-34, 1st, American South). As a squad, the offense ends the half with a .274 average (801-for-2924), which is good for sixth best in the PCL. Over 89 games, the team has collected 161 doubles, 36 triples, 85 home runs, 420 RBI, 304 walks, 736 strikeouts, and are the outright leaders in stolen bags (118) by 40. On the pitching end of things, Colorado Springs staff fares fifth best with their 49-39 record and 4.30 ERA. The staff to this point have totaled 759.0 innings of work and allowed 767 hits over 3,296 batters faced with 363 ER, 64 home runs, 294 walks, and 694 strikeouts tallied.
In Comparison: At the half last season (2017), the Sky Sox also led the American Northern Division. After 89 games, the Colorado Springs squad finished six games up in the conference with a 55-34 record. This season, the Sky Sox finish the half also atop the conference with a 49-39 record but just one-and-a-half games up.
Number 11: In 22 total series before the All-Star break, the Sky Sox finished with 11 series wins following the game four win Saturday night with six series losses and five series ties.
This Week's Preview: The Sky Sox returned home on Monday, July 16 to take on the Round Rock Express (TEX) for four games before going back on the road for three games in Memphis against the Redbirds July 20-22.
NEXT GAME: Wednesday, July 18 at 6:40 p.m. MT vs. Round Rock Express @ Security Service Field
RHP Aaron Brooks (6-3, 3.86) vs. RHP Michael Roth (4-3, 4.44) - Broadcast on XTRA Sports 1300
Promotion: NOVA Home Loans Community Ticket Day at Pikes Peak Library District Locations
COS TOP PERFORMERS
- Jake Hager (5-for-6, 2B, 2 R, RBI)
- Domingo Santana (2-for-3, 2 HR, 3 R, 4 RBI, 2 BB)
- Orlando Arcia (3-for-5, R, RBI, BB)
RR TOP PERFORMERS
- Hanser Alberto (2-for-5, 3 RBI)
- Andy Ibanez (2-for-3, R, 3 BB)
- Carlos Perez (1-for-6, 2 RBI)
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