Sky Sox walk-off in back-and-forth duel with Express

Posted at 11:46 PM, Jul 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-18 11:26:58-04

The Sky Sox won 11-10 in walk-off fashion over the Round Rock Express Tuesday night at Security Service Field in a back-and-forth duel. Jake Hager and Domingo Santana highlighted the night offensively. Hager finished off with a five-hit night including scoring the game-winning run after his ninth-inning double while Santana hit two home runs in big situations. Despite the 11 walks surrendered by Sky Sox pitching, the bats made up for it as they posted a season second-highest 19 hits.    

After the first inning, the only quiet frame of the contest, the Express broke out first with three runs in the top of the second. Willie Calhoun led off with his 28th double of the season while two outs quickly followed. With Calhoun on third, a wild pitch during Hunter Cole’s at-bat allowed the run to score to make it a 1-0 game. Cole would walk and three consecutive singles by Juan Centeno, Hanser Alberto and Drew Robinson manufactured the two additional runs to extend to a 3-0 lead.

In the bottom half of the second, the Sky Sox battled back with a run to get within two, but stranded more in the situation. Christian Bethancourt led the inning off with a single off of the centerfield wall while Shane Opitz doubled and Andres Blanco drew a walk to load the bases with one out. Quintin Berry struck a line drive toward the right-side hole but first baseman Alberto made a quick-reaction catch to save a run. Hager clutched up with a two-out single to plate one before Orlando Arcia grounded out to end the frame and strand three on base.

In the third, each side would trade for a solo run to keep it at a two-run ballgame. But in the fourth, Round Rock added an additional run after Drew Robinson doubled and scored after advancing on two wild pitches to take a 5-2 lead.

The Sky Sox broke out and rallied in the bottom of the fourth to take their first lead of the game. After Blanco led the frame off with a single and Berry flied out, Hager, Arcia and Tyrone Taylor knocked consecutive singles to get within one of the leading Round Rock squad. Santana followed suit with a big fly, his first with the Sky Sox, out to right field to give the Sky Sox the 7-5 advantage.

In the top of the fifth, Round Rock evened things back up at 7-7 on three singles in the inning. In the top of the sixth, they regained the 8-7 lead on Carlos Perez’s two-out single to centerfield. But, in the bottom half of the frame, Santana came in the clutch once again with a leadoff solo home run, his second of the night, to tie the game at 8-8.

The back-and-forth action continued into the seventh inning when Round Rock took the lead again. Centeno singled to start the frame while Robinson walked to put the go-ahead run into scoring position. Cliff Pennington came up with another single to left field and an error in left field allowed Centeno to score to give the Express a 9-8 advantage. A two-out wild pitch plated the 10th run for the Express.

Once again, the Sky Sox retaliated to bring the game back to even at 10 apiece in the bottom of the eighth. With one out, the red-hot Santana drew a walk and Bethancourt singled behind him. Bandy then struck a sizzling double down the third base line for his second of the game to clear the bases at tie the game at 10-10.

In the ninth, after the Express stranded the bases loaded to keep the game even, the Sky Sox came up with a rally in the bottom of the ninth. Hager sparked the inning on his fifth hit of the night with a double to right-center. After Arcia was intentionally walked, Taylor knocked the game-winning single to left field to make it a final 11-10 victory.

The Sky Sox head into game three of the series tomorrow with a 2-0 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.