The Sky Sox were dealt a little dose of their own medicine in Saturday night’s game at Werner Park as the Storm Chasers plated five runs in the bottom of the ninth and walked it off on Ryan O’Hearns three-run homer, 9-6. The win snaps the Chasers six game losing streak, while at the same time it stops the Sox six game winning streak.
Omaha jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning against Andrew Barbosa, thanks to the first homer of the game by O’Hearn, a two-run shot. Colorado Springs waited until the third inning to get on the board with a run that sliced the deficit in half. Nate Orf began the inning with a triple against Onelki Garcia and Kyle Wren followed with a double, 2-1.
The home team manufactured runs in the bottom of the third and fourth frames to take a 4-1 lead before the Sox ripped off five unanswered runs and snagged a 6-4 lead heading to the bottom of the ninth. Lewis Brinson doubled home two runs in the fifth, Garrett Cooper popped his 15th homer in the sixth, Brinson singled home a run in the seventh and Nick Noonan launched a solo homer in the ninth for an insurance run, making it 6-4.
Then, the bottom of the ninth happened. And it happened in a hurry. Tom Wilhelmsen took the hill and retired Raul Mondesi to open the frame. Ruben Sosa singled, moved to second on a throwing error by the pitcher, moved to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a Billy Burns single, 6-5. Dean Anna singled before Bubba Starling tied the game with a single, putting two on and one out for Ryan O’Hearn. The designated hitter sized up a pitch from Wilhelmsen and hammered it over the wall in left for a three-run blast, his second homer of the tilt. Ballgame. 9-6.
Hitting Notes –
The Sky Sox picked up their six runs on ten hits and had three multi-hit games from the lineup.
Lewis Brinson led the way offensively with a 2-for-5 night. He doubled, picked up three RBI, and is now hitting .322.
Ivan De Jesus went 2-for-5 with two singled.
Nate Orf filled the eighth spot in the lineup and tallied two hits, a single and a triple, and scored three runs.
Nick Noonan went 1-for-2 with a solo homer in replacement of Mauricio Dubon, who was ejected.
Garrett Cooper went 1-for-4 with a homer and RBI.
Andrew Susac went 1-for-3 with a walk.
Kyle Wren had a double, RBI and run scored.
Pitching Notes –
The Sox used four pitchers in what was another bullpen game.
Andrew Barbosa was the starter and did a serviceable job, allowing four runs on five hits in three and two-third innings. He walked a pair and struck out four on the 72 pitches, 44 of which went for strikes.
Tim Dillard was first out of the pen and allowed the Sox to start coming back with a two and two-third inning performance. He gave up a hit and struck out three.
Wei-Chung Wang went the next five outs in scoreless fashion allowing a hit and fanning a pair.
Tom Wilhelmsen made it through one third of an inning before he was ambushed by the Chasers for five runs on five hits. The one out he recorded was a strikeout.
Play of the Game –
Brett Phillips made a game-saving catch on a ball hit by O’Hearn in the bottom of the eighth inning, but boy did O’Hearn return serve with this is in the bottom of the ninth…
Pregame Interview with Dan Karcher and Mauricio Dubon –
It’s imperative for the Sox to put last night behind them and get back to their winning ways and they of course have a chance to do that tonight at Werner Park…Let’s do the same and get to the preview!
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (49-31) at Omaha Storm Chasers (38-42) – 6:05 p.m.
Sky Sox Starter: Angel Ventura will make his fifth Triple-A start tonight, and fourth road appearance for the Sky Sox in the third of four at Werner Park. He made his debut against the El Paso Diablos (Chihuahuas) on May 17 for the Sox and earned the win in West Texas. He enters play 2-1 with a 4.91 ERA, giving up 12 runs on 23 hits in 22 innings. The righty has walked 10 and fanned 14, while holding opponents to a .284 batting average against. He comes off a start against the Storm Chasers in which he allowed six runs on seven hits, walked four and fanned four in the altitude of Colorado Springs.
Ventura began the season in Biloxi and was 3-5 with a 3.48 ERA in eleven games, nine of which were starts. He was named a Southern League All-Star for his work with the Shuckers. The 24-year old was signed by the Brewers in 2011 and has steadily progressed each year. In 120 MiLB appearances, 58 starts, he is 31-29 with a 3.99 ERA.
Last Time Out – June 27 – No decision vs. Omaha –
Ventura allowed six runs on seven hits to the Storm Chasers in the opener of the doubleheader at Security Service Field. It was the first time he faced the rarified air and he walked four, struck out four on 90 pitches, 50 for strikes.
Storm Chasers Starting Arm: Right-hander Christian Binford is slated to get the nod in the Sunday night affair for the Storm Chasers. He enters having made nine starts in the PCL and five for Double-A Northwest Arkansas. In total he is 4-6 with a 5.54 ERA, but in the PCL he is 3-6 with a 7.88 ERA, he’s lost six starts in a row. Binford has allowed 42 runs on 64 hits in 48 innings with Omaha. He’s given up 12 homers, hit five batters, walked 15 and fanned 36. Opponents are hitting .322 against him. He faced the Sox his last time out and was roughed up to the tune of 10 runs on 11 hits in 4 1/3 innings. He made three starts against them in 2016, two were at Security Service Field. In total he went 0-3, allowing 13 runs on 18 hits in 16 innings.
Binford was selected by the Royals in the 30th round of the 2011 draft out of Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania. In his pro career, the Maryland-native is 33-48 with a 4.02 ERA in 118 appearances, 113 starts across five-plus seasons.
Last Time Out – June 27 – Loss at Colorado Springs –
Binford was tagged for 10 runs on 11 hits in four and one-third innings at Security Service Field. He hit a batter, walked one and struck out three on 101 pitches, 59 of which went for strikes. He allowed three homers, one to Phillips, one to Brinson, and one to Susac.
Dan Karcher (@SkySoxKarch) continues his 28th season behind the mic for Sky Sox games, he will have the call of tonight’s games from Werner Park beginning at 6:05 p.m. I will get Sky Sox Warmup fired up at 5:30 p.m. MDT on XTRA Sports 1300.
Thanks for reading – See you on the radio,