Express end five-game losing streak with extra-inning win

Posted at 11:26 PM, Jul 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-19 01:26:40-04

The Sky Sox suffered their first home loss of the second half on Wednesday night, losing to the Round Rock Express 10-8 in extra-innings (10).  With the win, Round Rock stopped a five-game losing streak.

After an extremely tight game last night that ended with the Sky Sox walking off in the bottom of the ninth inning to win game two 11-10, Colorado Springs jumped out to an early lead on Wednesday night, scoring a pair of runs in the very first inning of game three.  Jake Hager led off with a single for his sixth hit in six consecutive at-bats (after going 5-for-6 last night with five consecutive hits in his final five at-bats).  Hager then stole second, advancing to third on an Orlando Arcia single.  Tyrone Taylor—the hero of last night’s game after hitting the walkoff RBI single in the ninth—hit another RBI single to score Hager and advance Arcia to third, giving the Sky Sox the first lead of the evening.  Taylor then stole second to put two runners in scoring position.  Two outs later, Jett Bandy was hit by pitch to load the bases for Dylan Moore, who drew a walk to force home Arcia and make it 2-0.  A groundout ended the inning, with the Sky Sox leaving the bases loaded.

After scoreless second and third innings, the Express scored in the top of the fourth to bring the lead within one.  Willie Calhoun hit a one-out single, moving up to second on a Carlos Perez walk, and up to third one batter later on a Nick Torres single.  Hunter Cole then struck out for the second out of the inning, but a Tony Sanchez single would score Calhoun to make it 2-1.

Colorado Springs replied in the bottom half of the fourth frame with another pair of runs.  Moore led off with his sixteenth double of the season on the first pitch he saw, scoring two batters later on a Gabriel Noriega homer to extend the Sky Sox lead to 4-1.  It was Noriega’s first homer in a Sky Sox uniform.  His last Triple-A home run came all the way back on 8/21/14 when he was with the Tacoma Rainiers, at Cheney Stadium against the Omaha Storm Chasers.

Round Rock kept the offensive momentum chugging along in the top of the fifth, scoring yet again.  In the first at-bat of the inning, Drew Robinson hit a solo homer over the right field fence to make it a 4-2 affair.  In the top of the sixth inning, the Express did it again when Cole hit yet another solo homer to bring the lead within one run once again. 

In the top of the seventh frame, the Express scored for the fourth consecutive inning.  Hanser Alberto led off with a bunt single, before Robinson followed suit with a single of his own.  Cliff Pennington then hit into a fielder’s choice, forcing Alberto out at third, to put two on with one out.  Andy Ibanez then hit an RBI double to plate Robinson and tie the game.  With runners on second and third, Calhoun was intentionally walked to load the bases and set up a potential double play.  Perez singled in the next at-bat, however, scoring Pennington and Ibanez to give Round Rock their first lead of the evening at 6-4.

The Express refused to let up, scoring for the fifth inning in a row in the top of the eighth.  Cole led off with a double, moving up to third on a ground out.  A sacrifice fly off the bat off Alberto allowed him to trot him to make it 7-4 Round Rock.

The Sky Sox didn’t go quietly, making things interesting in the bottom of the ninth frame.  Hager and Arcia led off with back-to-back singles, but those were immediately followed by two strikeouts to put Colorado Springs down to their last out.  Christian Bethancourt then doubled to clear the bases and make it a one-run game.  Bandy then drew a walk to put two on, and Quintin Berry came into the game to pinch-run for Bethancourt.  Moore then hit a game-tying RBI single to plate Berry and keep the game alive.  Andres Blanco then popped out in foul territory to send the game into extra innings tied at seven runs apiece.

With the new minor league extra-inning rules in place this season, the Express began the tenth with Torres on second.  A Cole single put runners on the corners for Juan Centeno, who had replaced Sanchez at catcher after Sanchez had been ejected earlier in the game.  Centeno singled to score Torres and move Cole to second.  Alberto then flew out for the first out of the extra inning, before Robinson tripled to clear the bases and give Round Rock a 10-7 lead. 

In the bottom of the tenth, the Sky Sox started with Blanco on second base, and Noriega at the plate.  Noriega grounded out for the first out of the inning, moving Blanco over to third in the process. Hager grounded out for the second out of the inning, scoring Blanco to make it 10-8.  Down to their last chance, Arcia grounded out to end the game, with the Sky Sox losing 10-8 to fall to 2-1 in the series.

The Sky Sox head into game four of the series tomorrow with a 2-1 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.