The Sky Sox and Redbirds continued their six-game four-day series with the first of two doubleheaders Wednesday at Security Service Field. The two teams split the twinbill and Memphis leads the series 2-1. Colorado Springs took the first game in come-from-behind walk-off fashion 10-9 in extra innings, while the Redbirds exacted revenge in the second game with a 16-4 drubbing of the Sky Sox. Josh Hader started the first game and lasted just three innings and allowed a season-high six runs on 8 hits. Damien Magnifico was the beneficiary of the comeback as he earned the win with two scoreless innings of relief. Game two was started by Tim Dillard and he was ambushed by the Redbirds to the tune of 13 runs, 11 of which were earned, on 11 hits over two-plus innings of work.
NOTES FROM THE 10-9 WALK-OFF WIN IN 9 INNINGS
The Sky Sox had to earn a win in the first game as they trailed 6-2 after the second inning. Orlando Arcia pulled the Sox within two with a two-run homer in the third inning. Colorado Springs notched another run in the fourth to cut it to 6-5, but Memphis scored a run over the next three frames and made it 9-6 heading to the bottom of the seventh and final frame. Memphis brought on its closer Sam Tuivailala in hopes of closing it out. Andy Wilkins and Will Middlebrooks connected for back-to-back one out doubles to spark the rally, EY was hit by a pitch with two out and Rene Garcia was left to extend the game with the Sox down 9-7. He did just that, with two strikes on him, the catcher delivered a two-run double which tied the game and then he won it with, get this, a WALK-OFF BUNT SINGLE which plated WMB to win it.
Hitting Notes –
The Sky Sox fell behind early, but that just gave their offense a chance to come back and they did, in a big way. They banged out 10 runs on 17 hits in the walk-off win. Five Sky Sox batters had multi-hit games.
Rene Garcia played the hero for game one and went 4-for-5 with a double and three runs batted in. Two of his four hits were bunt base hits, including the game winner. He now has his average up to .471 in the limited time he’ been in the Springs.
Will Middlebrooks had a huge game one and tallied a 4-for-5 day at the dish. He picked up an RBI on a double and scored two runs, including the game-winner in the ninth.
Andy Wilkins went 3-for-5 with a double, 2-run homer, two RBI and two runs scored. Wilkins connected for his 10th home run in the first inning against Memphis’ starter Deck McGuire.
Eric Young, Jr. went 3-for-4 with three runs scored from the 7-spot in the lineup and Kyle Wren went 2-for-4 with 2 RBI from the top spot in the order.
Orlando Arcia went 1-for-5, but the one was a biggun’. He connected for a two-run homer in the third inning, which at the time pulled the Sky Sox to within two at 6-4. It was just the start of a big day at the plate for the young phenom shortstop.
Pitching Notes –
Josh Hader took the hill in his third Triple-A start and faced adversity for the first time this season. Memphis saw Hader in his Triple-A debut 10 days ago so they had an idea of what he was going to bring to the table and they jumped all over him to the tune of six runs across the first two innings. Randal Grichuk hit a homer on the first pitch he saw from Hader in the first inning. The lefty’s final line read 3 innings in which he allowed 6 runs on 8 hits, 2 walks, and 3 strikeouts. He threw 72 pitches, 43 of which went for strikes.
David Goforth gave up a pair of runs over his seven-out outing. The Redbirds got him for the two runs on two hits, three walks and two strikeouts. He threw 41 pitches in relief and 23 crossed the zone.
Corey Knebel rejoined the Sky Sox as an actual player on their roster for the first time this season and got two outs on four pitches.
Ariel Pena gave up the ninth and final run to the Redbirds in his one inning of work.
Damien Magnifico came on in the eighth and shutdown Memphis and did the same in the ninth. He earned he fourth win of his season and allowed two walks while striking out one over his two innings of work.
Play of the Game:
Rene Garcia stepped in with Will Middlebrooks at third and Eric Young, Jr. at first and one out in the bottom of the ninth. The catcher took the first pitch he saw up the first baseline with a BUNT and plated Middlebrooks to give the Sox the 10-9 win. It was the second bunt base hit of the game for the Sky Sox newest catcher.
NOTES FROM THE 16-4 LOSS IN GAME TWO
The Redbirds bounced right back from the Sox walk-off win in game one of the twinbill and plated five runs in the first, four in the second, four in the third and another trio in the fourth en route to the 16-4 victory. The Sky Sox scored their four runs in the third inning and that was it.
Hitting Notes –
The Sky Sox backed up their 10 run 17 hit attack in game one with a 4 run, 9 hit output in the second game of the doubleheader. Only one Sky Sox hitter recorded a multi-hit game.
Michael Reed had the 2-for-4 night in the second game of the doubleheader. He scored a run and struck out once.
Orlando Arcia stepped in to the box with two on and one out in the third inning and faced the starter Kurt Heyer for the second time. Arcia fell behind in the count 0-2, but took the third pitch of the plate appearance out over the wall in center for a three-run homer, his second dinger of the doubleheader. It marked Arcia’s lone hit of the second game and his sixth home run of the season.
Will Middlebrooks collected another double, his 19th…Garin Cecchini had a hit and an RBI…Andy Wilkins went 1-for-3, and pitcher Sam Freeman went 1-for-2 in his two trips to the plate.
Pitching Notes –
Tim Dillard had to wear one for the Sky Sox yesterday and it was tough to watch. The affable, side-arming righty made his fourth appearance in 8 days and was greeted by the Redbirds who tagged him for 13 runs (11 earned) on 11 hits, 3 walks, and 1 strikeout. He threw 82 pitches, 51 for strikes in the first loss of his season.
Sam Freeman gave up a trio of runs in three innings on 5 hits, 2 walks, and 3 strikeouts.
Austin Ross silenced the red-hot Redbirds over the final two innings.
Play of the Game – Orlando Arcia’s Three-Run Homer
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Pregame Interview with Kurt Bathelt, Sky Sox Video Coordinator:
Thanks for reading – See you on the radio,