On a night that featured 5,483 Pirates and Princesses in the crowd at Security Service Field, it was Nate Orf that played Prince Charming and turned the Express’ carriage back into a pumpkin with an RBI, walk-off single in the bottom of the 12th inning and sent the Sky Sox home with a 5-4 win Saturday night. The win marks the second in a row for the Sox and this one was more of the quintessential Sox variety as they fell behind early, crawled back in the middle frames, traded two runs in the 11th and won it in the 12th. It was the 8th extra-inning win for Colorado Springs in 11 tilts with overtime and their 17th win in the last at-bat.
Josh Hader started the game and was greeted by a pair of runs in the first inning thanks to an RBI triple in the left-centerfield gap and an RBI ground out. After that, the southpaw would settle in to finish six innings in a start that saw him return to form. On the other side of the hill it was lefty Eric Jokisch that silenced the Sky Sox over the first four innings. It wasn’t until the fifth that the home team jumped on the board courtesy of singled from Garin Cecchini and Brandon Macias and a run-scoring ground out off the bat of Kyle Wren. A Keon Broxton triple fired up the seventh inning and he would score to tie the game on a sac fly off the bat of Cecchini.
Both bullpens stabilized and the game drifted to extra frames for the 11th time this season in the case of Colorado Springs. It wasn’t until the 11th where the scoring picked up again. Rob Scahill pitched a scoreless 10th, but was unable to say the sam in the 11th. He walked the first man he faced, then gave up an RBI double to Justin Ruggiano which made it 3-2 and then on what was intended to be an intentional walk, threw a wild pitch which allowed the second run of the inning to score and Round Rock gained the two-run advantage. Keon Broxton would have his say against closer Carlos Fisher in the bottom of the inning. He tied it with a two-run double, his second of the game and third extra-base hit of the tilt. Yadiel Rivera singled to begin the 12th and scored on Orf’s single to win it 5-4.
Hitting Notes –
The Sky Sox were getting on a few times against Express starter Eric Jokisch, but couldn’t manufacture more than a run on five hits against him over five innings. The Sox would go on to rack up eight more hits and four more runs against the Express bullpen in the one0run win. The Sky Sox totaled 5 runs on 13 hits and had four of the starting nine with multiple-hit games.
Keon Broxton is heating up and we’ve seen him do this before. The outfielder picked up another three hits last night, all of the extra-base variety, two doubles and a triple. He could’ve had two triples, but he stumbled around second and had to settle for a two-bagger. Broxton now has 10 hits in his last four games, including three triples and two doubles.
Garin Cecchini filled the role of designated hitter and did just that, hit. He picked up another two hits, scored a run and brought home another in support of the Sky Sox 5-run attack.
Nate Orf of course played hero with the walk-off single, the second of two hits on the night for him. He also scored a run and continues to hit above .300 at .306.
Manny Pina continues to rake as he went 2-for-4 with a walk in the contest, collecting the fourth multi-hit game for Colorado Springs. He is still hitting .344 which would be good enough to pace the PCL had he accrued a few more plate appearances.
Kyle Wren had a double and Michael Reed, Yadiel Rivera, and Brandon Macias each had singles in the tilt making eight of the starting nine those with base hits in the game. Josmil Pinto was the lone soldier without a knock, although he did reach via a walk.
Pitching Notes –
Josh Hader needed a good start after his last two were not his best and it looked like he wasn’t going to get one after the Express plated a pair against him in the first inning. The outstanding lefty regrouped, returned to the Hader of old and went on to finish six innings. He gave up just the 2 runs on 3 hits, 2 walks, and 6 strikeouts and at one point had retired 11 Express hitters in a row. Hader threw 88 pitches and 57 for strikes, but didn’t factor into the decision.
Michael Blazek threw 2 1/3 innings in scoreless fashion scattering three hits and striking out two.
Michael Kirkman was next and wrapped up the ninth inning with the final two outs. It wasn’t easy as he walked lefty Joey Gallo and hit left-handed hitting Kyle Kubitza, the two hitters he was brought on to face. He induced a ground out off the bat of Pat Cantwell and struck Preston Beck out looking to end the threat and kept it tied.
Rob Scahill got through the 10th just fine, but gave up two runs in the 11th before he was lifted with two down. He gaveup the 2 runs on 3 hits, 1 walk, and 1 strikeout while recording five outs.
David Goforth earned the win and recorded four outs hitting a batter and striking out one.
Play of the Game –
Without a doubt it was Keon Broxton’s game tying double in the bottom of the 11th inning which forced one more extra frame – check it out below…
Pregame Interview with Dan Karcher and Former Sky Sox Doug Bernier –
Thanks for reading – See you on the radio,