Good things happen when you can actually play the games! Thanks to Tuesday’s rainout, Colorado Springs and Omaha were forced to play a pair of games yesterday and fortune found the Sox as they swept the doubleheader with a 6-5 walk-off win in game one and a 5-0 win in game two. The blanking of Omaha marked the first shutout of the season for the Sky Sox and it was the first sweep of a twin bill since August 15, 2013 when they took both from Memphis. Michael Reed’s fielder’s choice plated Will Middlebrooks in the bottom of the seventh inning of game one, which sent the Sox to the 6-5 win, while Brent Suter spun a beauty in game two and picked up five runs of support to complete the sweep.
Game One – 6-5 win for Colorado Springs
The Sky Sox scored their six runs on 13 hits in the first game of the doubleheader. Eight of the nine in the starting lineup had at least one hit, and five Sox collected multiple hit tilts. The lone Sky Sox not to pick up a hit was Michael Reed who did walk and drove home the game-winning run with a ground ball to first which scored Will Middlebrooks and gave the Sox the 6-5 win.
Andy Wilkins got the scoring going with an RBI single in the first innings. He later doubled and scored as part of the two-run fifth inning en route to his 2-for-3 game at the plate.
Garin Cecchini went 2-for-4 with a single and run scored in the fourth and a RBI double in fifth inning.
Jake Elmore collected two hits an a RBI from the nine spot in the lineup. He upped his season average to .330 with the multi-hit game.
Will Middlebrooks tallied a two-hit game, his fourth multi-hit performance in the last five games.
Orlando Arcia picked up the other two-hit game for the Sky Sox.
Manny Pina continued his tear through the PCL with a 1-for-3 game in which he scored two runs and extended his hitting streak to 11-games.
Pitching Notes –
The Sky Sox were fortunate to only use two pitchers in game one because of the thin status of their bullpen with the call-up of Jacob Barnes and the addition of Tim Dillard to the starting rotation.
Hiram Burgos got the start and took the game through the first five innings. He started strong with a scoreless first, but Omaha got to him for five runs over the next four frames. He ended up going five innings and allowed 5 runs on 8 hits, 3 walks, and 4 strikeouts. He threw a season-high 100 pitches in the five frames and did not factor into the decision.
Jaye Chapman came on in relief and was in dire need of a good outing following his last two in which he gave up a walk-off grand slam and a game-tying home run to Fresno hitters. Chapman did just that and turned in two scoreless innings allowing just 1 hit, 1 walk and striking out 2. He earned his fourth win of the season with the Sky Sox.
Play of the Game –
Usually we don’t highlight fielder’s choices, but when Michael Reed stepped in with a runner at third, Omaha pulled its infield in to cut down the winning run at the plate. Reed hit the ball to the right side, Middlebrooks took off from third and dove head first into the plate, beating the throw, scoring the run, and winning the game.
Game Two – 5-0 win for Colorado Springs
The Sky Sox picked up their five runs on 11 hits in the nightcap, with five of the starting nine getting knocks and four of the five collecting multi-hit tilts.
Yadiel Rivera and Orlando Arcia led the charge from the top of the order with three hits each in the ball game. Rivera went 3-for-4 with a double and run scored from the top spot in the lineup and Arcia went 3-for-4 with a run scored and RBI of his own. Both infielders are now hitting above .300 at .319 and .306 respectively.
Eric Young, Jr. collected two hits and two RBI from the nine-spot in the order. EY drove home a pair with a fourth-inning single he dunked into center, on which Cecchini and Reed scored.
Manny Pina extended his hitting streak to 12 with a 2-for-4 nightcap. He tallied an RBI double in the third after his single in the first. Over the 12 games, Pina is hitting .373 (19-for-51) with 8 XBHs and 9 RBI. His average now sits at .356 which is good enough for 5th in the PCL.
Brent Suter turned in another sparkling performance with six-shutout innings in the starting role. He allowed 6 hits, 1 walk, and struck out 1. He allowed the six hits, but had (and helped turn) four double plays on the night. Christian Colon hit into three of them and Travis Snider the other. He earned the win, his first of the season following the four inning save against Fresno his last trip to the hill. Over his last six outings the southpaw has tossed 24 2/3 innings and allowed three runs (all earned) on 19 hits, 3 walks and 23 strikeouts. That’s a 1.09 ERA for those keeping track at home.
Austin Ross took sent fans home happy with a perfect seventh.
Play of the Game
Brent Suter isn’t a prospect, but may be one of the more valuable players on this staff. He gave up three hits to the leadoff man Ramon Torres. One to begin the game, one in the third, and one to begin the sixth. The next hitter Christian Colon followed suit by grounding into a double play after each Torres single. The first was of the 6-4-3 variety, the second 5-4-3, and the third 4-6-3. The fourth twin-killing was a 1-6-3 started by Suter himself in the second.
Pregame interview with Dan Karcher and Michael Reed –
Thanks for reading – See you on the radio,