The Sky Sox dropped game one of this three-game series against the Round Rock Express 6-1, with most of the damage coming in the form of a five-run seventh inning for the Express; the most runs the Sky Sox have given up in a single inning all season.
Game one of this series proved to be a pitcher’s duel at first, with Sky Sox starter Brandon Woodruff not giving up his second hit of the game until the bottom of the sixth inning, and Express starter David Ledbetter keeping Sky Sox batters in check, allowing only five hits and one run through six frames.
Colorado Springs scored their first run of this series in the top of the third inning to crack the scoreless pitcher’s duel. Nate Orf drew a five-pitch walk, advancing to second on a balk by Round Rock’s starter Ledbetter. Shane Opitz lined a single to center field to get Orf within 90 feet of home, and Keon Broxton grounded into a fielder’s choice to score Orf and give the Sky Sox a 1-0 lead.
Woodruff was cruising through the game until the sixth inning, when he gave up a leadoff double to Christian Lopes for only his second hit of the night. The only other hit Woodruff had allowed up to that point was a single back in the third inning, also off the bat of Lopes. Jose Cardona followed Lopes’ double with a single, and Scott Heineman walked to load the bases and knock Woodruff from the game. Erik Davis came into the game for Colorado Springs to replace Woodruff on the mound, recording the first out of the inning via a Willie Calhoun strike out. Davis then hit Tommy Joseph with a pitch to force in the tying run, but on the next pitch drew a double play to get out of the inning and leave the game tied at one run apiece.
The Express blew the game open in the bottom of the seventh, scoring five runs to put an end to the short-lived tie. Cameron Rupp led off the inning with a single. Nick Noonan followed suit with a single of his own. Hanser Alberto reached on a sacrifice bunt to load the bases. Lopes doubled to score Rupp and Noonan, before Cardona homered to clear the bases and make it 6-1 Round Rock.
As the eighth inning was set to start a thick fog rolled in, enveloping the field and forcing a delay of game for a little over half an hour. The game resumed around 9:00 p.m. Colorado time for the final two frames. The Sky Sox went three up, three down in the top of the eighth, with the Express recording all three outs in the bottom of the eighth by way of strikeout.
Robie Rojas and Tyrone Taylor both struck out in the top of the ninth, with Orf drawing a two-out walk for his third walk of the game. Opitz grounded out for the final out of the game, with the Express taking game one of the series.
The Sky Sox are set to play game two against the Express tomorrow at 12:05 p.m. MDT, with righty Bubba Derby scheduled to take the mound for Colorado Springs and lefty Yohander Mendez set to take the mound for Round Rock, as both pitchers look to pick up their first win of the season. After this series with Round Rock wraps, the Sky Sox will be returning to Security Service Field on Wednesday for a nine-game home stretch.