The Sky Sox kicked off their three-game series in Memphis versus the Redbirds with a 1-0 shutout victory for their seventh shutout of the season. The only run of the game came via a Christian Bethancourt solo home run in the sixth inning.
After finishing a tightly-contested four-game home series against the Round Rock Express last night that saw Colorado Springs split the series 2-2, the Sky Sox began game one tonight of this three-game series against the Memphis Redbirds with five scoreless innings to initiate the Friday night contest.
Through five innings, both starting pitchers had similar lines. Aaron Wilkerson of the Sky Sox had no runs on five hits with a pair of walks, while striking out four Express batters. Conversely, Chris Ellis had also allowed no runs, on six hits with no walks and seven strikeouts.
It wasn’t until there were two outs in the top of the sixth inning that either team would score. Bethancourt, who came into tonight leading all Colorado Springs batters in home runs with 14, hit his 15th of the season with two outs and no one on in the sixth for the first run of the series, giving the Sky Sox a slim 1-0 advantage.
Erik Davis replaced Wilkerson on the mound for the Sky Sox in the bottom of the sixth inning, recording a line out, a ground out, and a fly out in his first inning of work. In the top of the seventh inning, Davis had an at-bat and actually reached on Memphis’ first error of the night. Davis then recorded another three-up, three-down inning in the bottom of the seventh, finishing his night with two innings of work out of the pen, surrendering no hits and not allowing a single baserunner.
Ellis was pulled after the seventh inning, having allowed just the sole run on the Bethancourt homer in the sixth, with no walks and eight strikeouts in his strong start. He was replaced on the mound by Conner Greene in the eighth frame. Greene gave up a hit to the first batter he faced, in the form of an Orlando Arcia single. He then hit Tyrone Taylor with a pitch to put the first two batters he faced on first and second, before Domingo Santana hit into a double play and Bethancourt flew out to quickly stifle the late offense.
Tristan Archer then replaced Davis on the mound for Colorado Springs, walking Rangel Ravelo on four pitches before recording three swift outs to send the tight 1-0 game into the ninth inning. The Sky Sox would go three up and three down on just ten pitches in the top of the ninth to give Memphis a chance in the bottom half of the inning, with Archer coming back out to try to close out the game for Colorado Springs.
Adolis Garcia flew out for the first out of the inning, but Edmundo Sosa then doubled to put the tying run in scoring position with the winning run at the plate. However, Wilfredo Tovar struck out to put the Redbirds down to their final out, before Alex Mejia grounded out to end the game.
The Sky Sox are on the road in Memphis for a three-game set against the Redbirds.