Opening night is always a special night, no matter the outcome, but for the Sky Sox the last three as the top affiliate of the Brewers have been extra special. They’ve all resulted in wins. Last night marked the third installment of OD for the Sox in the family tree of the Brewers and it resulted in a 2-1 win over the Omaha Storm Chasers.
Colorado Springs jumped on the board in the first inning when Eric Sogard cut a double through the wind into the right field corner and Ryan Cordell backed it up with a two-bagger to left. Sogard scampered home to make it 1-0. Jonathan Dziedzic settled in to pitch a perfect second and scoreless third before Cordell returned to the plate and drilled a 1-1 pitch over the wall in left for a solo homer, the first of his season and Triple-A career, which made it 2-0 Sky Sox. Omaha plated an unearned run in the 8th, but left the bases loaded thanks to Rob Scahill who continued on to pitch a scoreless ninth.
Ryan Cordell made quite a splash in his Triple-A debut with the 2-for-4, 2B, HR, 2 RBI performance. He tallied the lone multi-hit game for the Sox.
Six other Sky Sox got in on the mix with hits; Lewis Brinson reached twice with a hit and a walk, Sogard had a double, Tyler Heineman had a double, Brett Phillips, Garrett Cooper and Yadiel Rivera each picked up a single.
Brinson was lifted in the fifth inning after injuring his hand sliding head-first into second base on a successful steal attempt.
Josh Hader got the Opening Day nod for Colorado Springs and seemed to be in mid-season form. The lefty retired the first four Chasers to begin the game and didn’t allow a hit until the third, a leadoff double to Cam Gallagher. He finished five innings with just the one hit allowed and struck out six, while walking five. If there was one downside to his outing it would be the five walks over five innings. He finished with 85 pitches, 46 of which went for strikes.
David Goforth was outstanding and retired all six Omaha hitters he faced over the 6th and 7th innings. He dispensed them on five groundouts and a fly out on 20 pitches, 13 for strikes.
Damien Magnifico should have had a nice and tidy outing, but lasted only two-thirds of an inning thanks two two errors committed behind him which elevated his pitch count to 24, 15 strikes. He had the unearned run on his record along with two strikeouts, a hit, and a walk.
Rob Scahill entered the game with the bases loaded and two down and induced a fielders choice to wrap up the eighth before pitching a perfect ninth. He threw 13 pitches, 8 for strikes.
Play of the game
Ryan Cordell’s solo shot in the fourth:
ENOUGH ABOUT YESTERDAY – ON TO TONIGHT!
The Sky Sox and Storm Chasers get set to tee it up for round two tonight at Security Service Field for the first Friday affair of the season. First pitch is slated for 7 p.m. so come on out!
Sky Sox Pitcher: RHP Paolo Espino was signed by the Brewers as a free agent in November, marking the fourth franchise he has been with. He was originally selected by the Cleveland Indians in the 10th round of the 2010 draft and spent the first seven years of his career there before joining the Cubs’ franchise late 2013. He was released by Chicago prior to the 2014 season and signed with the Nationals as a free agent where he pitched 2014-16. He has yet to crack the big leagues. Last season saw the 30-year old righty go 8-11 with a 3.30 ERA in 26 Triple-A starts.
Storm Chasers Pitcher: RHP Jake Junis gets the nod to go in game two for Omaha. The 24 year old righty will make hit 7th start in a Storm Chasers uniform and second against the Sky Sox. On August 8, 2016, Junis earned the win in his Triple-A debut against Colorado Springs and went 7 innings allowing 1 run on 3 hits, he hit 2 batters and struck out 7. One of the three hits was a solo homer by Yadiel Rivera in the third inning of a 3-1 Omaha win. Junis enters as the #15 prospect according to Baseball America and is said to have the best curveball in the organization. He has a career record of 28-38 with a 4.41 ERA.
Tonight’s starting lineups:
Sky Sox Lineup –
- 5 – Kyle Wren – LF
- 18 – Eric Sogard – DH
- 7 – Ryan Cordell – RF
- 30 – Garrett Cooper – 1B
- 8 – Brett Phillips – CF
- 6 – Nate Orf – 2B
- 9 – Nick Noonan – 3B
- 29 – Yadiel Rivera – SS
- 22 – Tyler Heineman – C
RHP – 21 – Paolo Espino
Omaha Starting Lineup –
- 14 – Billy Burns – LF
- 2 – Ramon Torres – SS
- 4 – Whit Merrifield – 2B
- 33 – Peter O’Brien – DH
- 41 – Jorge Bonifacio – RF
- 21 – Ryan O’Hearn – 1B
- 6 – Bubba Starling – CF
- 34 – Cam Gallagher – C
- 7 – Garin Cecchini – 3B
RHP – 31 – Jake Junis
Enjoy the game!