Holy. Cow. What a ballgame last night! The four hour five minute affair had it all. It had hits (29), runs (26), errors (4), pitchers getting hits (2), home runs (2) and winners (1). The Sky Sox tried their best to blow it, but survived the 15-11 conquest over the Chihuahuas. They blew a 5-0 lead, rallied from a 7-5 deficit, blew a 11-7 lead, and scored four in the ninth to get to the winning 15-11 margin.
For the fifth game in a row the Sox jumped out to an early lead. Tuesday it was thanks two a run in the first on a sac fly and another in the second on a Yadiel Rivera RBI double.
All was quiet in the third, but the silence would be broken up in the fourth and fifth innings with three more runs for Colorado Springs. In the fourth it was Kyle Wren and Ivan De Jesus that connected on back-to-back RBI singles which made it 4-0 and then 5-0 thanks to a Brett Phillips triple and Nate Orf’s single that drove him home in the fifth.
FIVE – NIL, some would say that’s the riskiest lead in sports…and in the case of Tuesday’s game, they’d be correct as El Paso came charging back with three in the fifth and four more in the sixth. Jose Pirela reached on a missed catch error with the bases loaded that scored a run in the fifth and Jabari Blash cleaned up with a two-run single, 5-3. TEN Pups went to the plate in the sixth, four of them scored. One on a Diego Goris RBI single, another on a walk, and another pair on another single by Blash, 7-5 bad guys.
Just as the Pups sent 10 men to the plate in the bottom of the sixth, Colorado Springs sent 10 men to the plate in the top of the seventh and scored SIX of them! Phillips continued his hot night with a leadoff solo homer, Kyle Wren picked up an RBI single, De Jesus picked up a two run single, Lewis Brinson doubled home a run and scored on a wild pitch. Boom. 11-7 with nine outs to get. Safe right? Wrong.
El Paso didn’t score in the seventh, but used a four-run eighth to tie the game…Collin Cowgill singled in one run and Tony Cruz crushed a double with the bases loaded to tie the game.
But then, the secret weapon was unleashed in the form of Wei-Chung Wang. The lefty recorded the final out of the eighth on the bump and hit for himself with two on and two out in the ninth. Wang ripped a single to center that scored De Jesus and Phillips put a bow on it with a three-run homer, his second homer of the game and third XBH of the tilt. 15-11 was enough! Yes! Wang pitched around two, two-out baserunners and sealed the Sox win.
Hitting Notes –
The Sox picked up 15 runs on 17 hits, scored 10 runs over the final three innings and tallied eight extra-base knocks, five doubles, a triple, and two homers. The latter three of which were on the line of Brett Phillips. He, along with three others, had multi-hit games. As a team, the Sox had 12 RBI, 9 of which came with two outs. They went 7-for-15 with RISP.
Brett Phillips led the way with three hits and four RBI. He collected his second multi-homer game of the season and added a triple. Eleven total bases for the outfielder, not too shabby. He now leads the team in homers with eight.
Kyle Wren is WRED hot for Colorado Springs. He can’t be stopped! He went 3-for-6 with a double, two RBI, and two runs scored.
Ivan De Jesus reached base four times with two hits and two walks, he scored two runs and drove home a pair.
Lewis Brinson had a similar night with two doubles, two walks, two runs scored and two RBI.
Nate Orf went 3-for-6 with an RBI and two runs scored.
Ryan Cordell went 1-for-4 with a double and extended his hitting streak to 10 games.
Yadiel Rivera had a double and reached via a walk.
Gabriel Noriega collected a hit in two trips to the plate as a late addition to the game.
Wei-Chung Wang – how about it! An RBI single that put the Sox on top for good in the top of the ninth!
Pitching Notes –
It was always going to be a bullpen game for Colorado Springs. Unfortunately, they had to use six pitchers, despite getting four frames from the spot starter Michael Blazek.
Michael Blazek went a season-high four innings and did not allow a run. He gave up two hits, walked three and struck out three on a season-high 57 pitches, 31 of which went for strikes.
Tim Dillard was first out of the ‘pen and he did not fare well for the third straight outing. He allowed six runs (four earned) on six hits, walked one and struck out one in 1 1/3 innings.
Andy Oliver was next and he allowed a run on two hits in two-thirds of an inning.
Stephen Kohlscheen was looking like Cy Young as he tossed a scoreless seventh.
David Goforth gave up four runs on two hits, two walks, and a hit batter in two-thirds of an inning.
Wei-Chung Wang closed out the eighth and earned the win on the bump with 1 1/3 innings of scoreless pitching. It marks the first win of the season for the lefty.
Play of the Game –
Wei-Chung Wang’s single of course!!!! –
Here’s Phillips’ three-run yakkkk for good measure –
Pregame Interview with Dan Karcher and Sox Reliever Andrew Barbosa –
It will most certainly be tough to top last night’s contest and it will be interesting to see just how sharp today’s game will be…I would venture to guess that 60-70% of the Sky Sox errors have come during day games this season. Let’s get to the preview.
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (22-12) vs. El Paso Chihuahuas (18-21) – 11:05 a.m.
Sky Sox Starter: Angel Ventura will make his Triple-A debut this morning in El Paso, taking Paolo Espino’s turn in the rotation. The righty gets the call from Biloxi where he was 1-4 with a 3.00 ERA in seven games, five of which were starts. The 24-year old was signed by the Brewers in 2011 and has steadily progressed each year. In 112 MiLB appearances he is 27-27 with a 3.93 ERA.
Last Time Out – May 13 – Loss in relief vs. Mississippi –
Ventura took the mound in Biloxi against the M-Braves and tossed three innings of relief behind Taylor Jungmann who went the first six. The righty took the loss and allowed three runs on three his, walked three and struck out two on 41 pitches, 23 strikes.
Chihuahuas Starting Arm: Righty Tyrell Jenkins gets set to take the hill for the eighth time when he makes his first-career appearance against the Sky Sox this morning at Southwest University Park. The Henderson, Texas native is 3-2 with a 4.95 ERA in seven starts allowing 20 runs on 39 hits in 36 1/3 innings. He has walked and struck out 26 and opponents are hitting .289 against him. His last trip to the hill was a win on the road at Memphis where he went six innings. He it 1-1 with a 5.79 ERA in three home starts in 2017 and has never faced the Sky Sox.
Jenkins was originally selected by the Cardinals in the Compensation A round of the 2010 draft. He spent the first five seasons within the Cards organization before being traded to the Braves along with Shelby Miller, for Jason Heyward and Jordan Walden. He pitched for the Braves in 2015-16 and was traded to the Rangers this offseason, DFA’d by the Rangers, claimed by the Reds, DFA’d by the Reds, and finally claimed by the Padres. In 107 career appearances, 102 starts, the right-hander has compiled a 38-29 record with a 3.73 ERA. He made his MLB debut with the Braves a season ago and went 2-4 with a 5.88 ERA in 14 games, 8 starts.
Last Time Out – May 12 – Win at Memphis
Jenkins went six innings and limited the Redbirds’ high-octane offense to two runs on seven hits. He walked three, fanned three and threw 100 pitches, 59 of which went for strikes. He has won his last two decisions, spanning three starts and in those appearances has logged 18 innings while giving up 8 runs.
Dan Karcher (@SkySoxKarch) continues his 28th season behind the mic for Sky Sox games, he will have the call of today’s game from Southwest University Park at 11:05 a.m. I will get Sky Sox Warmup fired up at 10:30 a.m. MDT on XTRA Sports 1300.
Thanks for reading – See you on the radio,