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.