The Sky Sox are no stranger to long games…They played an 18-inning affair earlier this season and backed it up with a 14-inning tilt last night against the Express. The other common denominator? They won both. Kyle Wren delivered an RBI single in the top of the 14th inning and Ariel Pena retired the side in order in the bottom half to give the Sky Sox the 3-2 win.
Around 6:10 local time Kyle Wren began the ball game with what appeared to be an inside-the-park homer, but was eventually called back to a ground-rule double. That started what turned out to be a well-pitched affair. Former Sky Sox right Austin Bibens-Dirkx went six scoreless for the Express and outstanding lefty Josh Hader threw five empty frames for the Sox. The scoring didn’t get going until the seventh when Hanser Alberto doubled home Delino Deshields and gave the Express the 1-0 lead. Nate Orf began the next half inning with a solo homer and the game was tied 1-1. Then the Sox manufactured a run in the 12th to make it 2-1, but Round Rock returned volley and tied it the next half inning.
Hitting Notes –
The Sky Sox went 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position, the one being Wren’s RBI single in the top of the 14th inning. Batters 8-9-1 collected six of the eight hits for the Sky Sox in the 5-hour victory.
Nate Orf led the charge with a 2-for-5 night. He hit a solo homer, his first dinger of 2016, scored the Sox first and winning run, and made two noteworthy defensive plays that gave the Sky Sox a chance to win.
Eric Young, Jr. followed Orf and went 2-for-6 with a double and run scored.
Kyle Wren delivered the game-winning single in the 14th, tallied a double and walked in the 3-2 win.
Pitching Notes –
Josh Hader started the game and returned to form after what was a career-worst start against Memphis his last time out. The southpaw limited the Express to 3 hits, 2 walks, and struck out 8 in 5-scoreless innings. He threw 102 pitches, 61 for strikes and lowered his ERA to 4.50.
Austin Ross was the third reliever used by Rick Sweet and the Sox and he performed realllllllly well. He covered three scoreless innings and struck out three.
Michael Kirkman was first out of the ‘pen and turned in two-thirds of an inning in scoreless fashion.
Corey Knebel gave up a run while recording four outs.
Damien Magnifico came on in the 11th and tossed a scoreless inning, but gave up the game-tying run in the 12th. He allowed the one run, on one hit, and one walk, while recording six outs.
Ariel Pena truly earned the win in relief. He held the Express off the board in the 13th, despite walking the first man he faced and returned to the mound in the bottom of the 14th with a one-run lead. The hulking righty retired the side in order and picked up the second win of his season.
Play of the Game –
Obviously, without a doubt, Kyle Wren’s RBI single that plated Nate Orf in the top of the 14th inning is our play of the game…If only because without it we may still be playing…
Pregame Interview with Dan Karcher and Josmil Pinto –
Thanks for reading – See you on the radio,