May 19, 2010 1:59 AM
Finishing off a knock-down, drag-out series at Security Service Field, the Colorado Springs Sky Sox and Round Rock Express got into another knuckle-basher - the Sky Sox prevailing 11-10.
Round Rock picked up right where they left off after dominating Tuesday's restart, getting out to a quick 1-0 lead.
The Sox would reclaim the lead in the bottom half, scoring two runs on a Chris Iannetta sac fly and Wesley Wright wild pitch.
Exploding in the third, the Sox plated three more runs before the first out. Matt Miller contributing a two-run blast, Jay Payton drove in Brad Eldred on an RBI single. Chris Nelson's sacrifice fly would plate the inning's fourth and final run, 6-1.
Starter Kurt Birkins running into trouble in the top of the fourth, the first three Round Rock batters reached safely to load the bases. Yordany Ramirez singling to left to plate two, Kurt Birkins would coax a strikeout from pinch-hitter Collin DeLome before being pulled for Damian Moss with two down. The inning extending when Yordany Ramirez was called safe at second on a fielder's choice, Moss subsequently yielded a bases loaded walk for the inning's third run, 6-4. Chris Johnson would strike out on the next at bat to end the inning.
The Express tying the score at six in the sixth with two two-out scores, the Sky Sox faithful became jittery as it seemed Round Rock was on the verge of another disappointing comeback.
To their delight, however, the Sky Sox would mount an attack in the bottom half - Cole Garner singling and Matt Miller walking to start the inning. On a 1-0 count, Brad Eldred launched a ball a mile high that looked destined to crack the scoreboard. Express left fielder made one of the plays of the year, however, pulling back Eldred's bomb from past the wall, turning the drive from three runs into one out. Chris Iannetta quickly erased any memory of the play, however, crushing a deep drive of his own in excess of 400 feet to left, putting the Sox up 9-6.
The Express tacking on another score in the top of the seventh, Brad Eldred homered in the eighth to extend the lead to three, 10-7.
Regrouping before the final frame, Round Rock shifted gears and got to work in the ninth.
A leadoff double by Matt Kata followed by a Jason Castro single made the score 10-8 with no one out. Andrew Locke singled in the next at-bat to put runners on first and second, while a wild pitch by closer Juan Rincon advanced the runners 90 feet into scoring position. Yordany Ramirez continued the rally with a two-run double to tie the game at ten, still with none out. Brian Bogusevic popping to third for the first out of the inning, Jason Bourgeois lined into a double play at short to abruptly end the threat.
The momentum shifting squarely to Round Rock's corner, the Sky Sox were still able to muster one last gasp in the ninth. Travis Metcalf striking out to lead off the inning, Chris Frey and Jonathan Herrera each singled - putting runners on first and third. Cole Garner intentionally walked, the bases were loaded as pinch hitter Michael McKenry strode to the plate. Ripping a sharp ground ball past third base, Frey plated the winning run for the Sky Sox' walk off victory.
With the win, the Sky Sox improve to 20-18, first place in the Pacific North. Round Rock falls to 17-22 with the defeat. Sox reliever Juan Rincon (2-1, 4.80) was credited with the win while T.J. Burton (0-1, 2.92) took the loss.
The Sky Sox have a scheduled off day Wednesday before heading to Iowa for a four game series beginning on the 20th. The first pitch is scheduled for 6:35 PM CT.