Apr 26, 2014 9:08 PM by Posted by Greg Smith
It took a little longer than usual, but after 13 innings and four hours and 11 minutes, the Iowa Cubs defeated the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, 9-6, on Saturday afternoon at Security Service Field.
With the victory, the I-Cubs clinched their first series victory in Colorado Springs since 2001.
Down to their last strike in the 9th, the Iowa Cubs' 2B Arismendy Alcantara hit an RBI-single to plate CF Logan Watkins and take the game into extra innings.
In extra innings, both teams left men on base in the 10th and 11th innings, but weren't able to capitalize on the opportunities.
Finally in the 13th inning with RHP Dan Houston on the bump, the I-Cubs led off with a walk. But Houston rebounded striking out the next batter and getting out two when LHP Chris Rusin laid down a pinch-hit sacrifice bunt.
That was is for Houston as RHP Rob Scahill came on to pitch, but his first batter, RF Jonathan Mota, hit an RBI-single to take the lead, followed up by an RBI-triple by Alcantara. His triple was his fifth base knock of the afternoon. The I-Cubs tacked on one more to seal the deal and pick up their third consecutive win against the Sox.
It was a back-and-forth game for most of the afternoon with the I-Cubs striking first with solo homers by 1B Chris Valaika and RF Jonathan Mota in both the second and third innings off RHP Christian Friedrich.
But it didn't take long for the Sky Sox to retaliate, when in the fourth inning led the inning with three consecutive singles to score one. In the fourth at-bat of the inning, 2B Drew Garcia laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt toward the right side of the infield to pick up an RBI and tied the game at 2-2. SS Paul Janish proceeded to take the lead in the next at-bat thanks to his RBI-double.
The I-Cubs retook the lead with a two-run fifth inning, but the Sox tied it up in the bottom half of the inning, before Iowa took it back in the sixth on a solo homer from C Eli Whiteside, that was initially called foul by the umpire.
However, like the rest of the game, that lead didn't last long when 1B Ben Paulsen and C Michael McKenry smacked back-to-back solo shots to left field to give the Sox the lead back and end Colorado Springs' homerless streak. The last home run by a Sky Sox player was April 18 by Matt McBride.
However, in the end, the Sky Sox couldn't pick up the win, dropping their fourth straight -- tied for the season-high.
Four Sky Sox players had multi-hit affairs led by McKenry's four-hit night, which was the first four-hit performance by a Sky Sox player this season. He finished 4-for-6 with two runs, three RBI, and a homer.
Iowa's offense was led by three homers from Valaika, Mota and Whiteside. Both Valaika and Mota had three-hit games.
In the series finale on Sunday, RHP Christian Bergman (2-1, 6.45 ERA) will face Cubs' LHP Eric Jokisch (1-1, 3.65). First pitch is slated for 1:35 p.m.
·With his double and homer on Saturday, Ben Paulsen now has 12 extra-base hits on the year, which is tied for 10th in the PCL.
·The 15 strikeouts by the Sky Sox pitching staff was the most by the Sox in a game this season. The previous high was 14, which was done on April 5 at New Orleans.
·The six runs scored by Colorado Springs were as many as they scored in the past four games combined.
·With their multi-hit performances against Iowa, Ben Paulsen and Kyle Parker now have eight and seven multi-hit games this season, which are the most on the team.