The Sounds snuck out of Colorado Springs by salvaging the finale of the four-game series in 11-7 fashion last night at Security Service Field. The Sox took the first three of the set, but saw their five-game winning streak and 11-game home winning streak come to an end with the four-run defeat in the final game of the season against Nashville. The Sox now hit the road to Round Rock, Texas and get set for the final series prior to the all-star break, a three gamer against the Express.
Renato Nunez gave the Sounds a 4-0 lead with two swings of the bat against Paolo Espino. The PCL All-Star and PCL representative in the Home Run Derby stepped in against the right-hander in the first with a runner on and hit a laser over the wall in left for a two-run homer, 2-0 Sounds. It felt like deja vu all over again in the third when Nunez did it again, another two run homer to the left of the video board, 4-0 Sounds.
The Sox, as they normally do, came storming back and put up a four spot in the fourth inning to tie it up. A Garrett Cooper double and Brett Phillips’ single put two on with no one out against Jesse Hahn. Jett Bandy connected on a sac fly to make it 4-1, then an infield single off the bat of Nate Orf made it 4-2. Nick Noonan moved Orf to second and reached on a bunt single and both runners moved up on a wild pitch from the right-hander. With two down, the phenom shortstop Mauricio Dubon stepped up and dropped a single into center, plated a pair, and tied the game, 4-4.
The tie wouldn’t last too long as Nashville responded with a four run inning of its own in the fifth. Stephen Kohlscheen walked the first batter of the inning, then gave up a triple to Joey Wendle, from there the Sounds wouldn’t look back. Nunez scored Wendle on a groundout to make it 6-4. The righty reliever got two out, but the Sounds sparked a rally before the inning came to an end and added another two runs on three hits and two walks, 8-4.
A three-run seventh against Tom Wilhelmsen gave Nashville and 11-4 margin, but the Sox wouldn’t go down quietly and notched three in the ninth. Ivan De Jesus singled in a run and Cooper brought in a pair before Nate Orf’s fly ball to left turned into a game-ending double play. A controversial one at that as Kenny Wilson dropped the ball, leading to confusion on the basepaths, but the umpire deemed it was on the transfer, thus a catch and the runners didn’t tag, creating an easy DP.
Hitting Notes –
The Sox picked up seven runs on 11 hits and had two-hit games from batters 2-5 in the lineup.
Ivan De Jesus went 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored. The two knocks not only extend his hitting streak to 15 games, but also his on base streak to 30 games. Wow. He has put together an awesome season and sits atop the PCL leaderboard with a .364 average, two thousandths ahead of…
Garrett Cooper went 2-for-4 with two doubles, two RBI and a run scored. He’s now hitting .362 on the season and it looks like his back is doing just fine.
Brett Phillips tallied two hits, walked, and scored a run.
Lewis Brinson was the other Sox player with two hits as he, too went 2-for-4 with a walk and run scored.
Mauricio Dubon had a single, two RBI, and walked.
Nate Orf with a single, RBI, and walked in the loss.
Nick Noonan singled and scored a run.
Pitching Notes –
Paolo Espino’s return to Colorado Springs saw the righty go four innings and allowed four runs on eight hits. He didn’t walk anyone and struck out one on 79 pitches, 49 strikes.
Stephen Kohlscheen took the loss and allowed four runs on five hits in two innings. He walked a trio of Sounds and struck out one on 48 pitches, 26 strikes.
Tom Wilhelmsen worked two-thirds of an inning and allowed three runs on three hits and two walks.
Tristan Archer worked the final two and one-third innings in scoreless, hitless order, striking out a pair.
Play of the Game –
The play of the game was Mauricio Dubon’s two-run game tying single in the fourth, but there’s no video proof of it so you will have to take my word on it.
Pregame Interview with Dan Karcher and Manager Rick Sweet –
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (54-32) at Round Rock Express (39-48) – 6:05 p.m.
Sky Sox Starter: Angel Ventura will make his sixth Triple-A start tonight, and fifth road appearance for the Sky Sox in the first of five at Dell Diamond. 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 3-1 with a 3.68 ERA, giving up 12 runs on 29 hits in 29.1 innings. The righty has walked 13 and fanned 16, while holding opponents to a .274 batting average against. He comes off a start against the Storm Chasers in which he went 7 1/3 scoreless innings, making it the second longest outing of his career.
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 121 MiLB appearances, 59 starts, he is 32-29 with a 3.93 ERA.
Last Time Out – July 2 – Win at Omaha –
Ventura was AWESOME his last time to the hill and picked up a winning decision with 7 1/3 scoreless innings. He limited the Chasers to six hits and three walks, while striking out two on 97 pitches, 57 of which went for strikes. He’s been a very solid addition to the Sky Sox rotation.
Express Starting Arm: Round Rock will counter with a righty of its own in David Ledbetter. The 25-year old is set to make the fourth Triple-A start of his career and enters 2-0 with a 3.38 ERA in 16 PCL innings. He’s yielded six runs on 18 hits, hit two batters, walked seven and fanned six. Opponents are hitting .295 against him and he holds a 1.31 ground out to air out ratio. Prior to joining the Express, Ledbetter made 16 appearances four Double-A Frisco, four of which were starts. He compiled a 1-4 record with a save and a 5.72 ERA in 39 1/3 innings. He has not faced the Sky Sox in his brief PCL tenure.
Ledbetter was drafted by the Rangers in the 3rd round of the 2013 draft out of Cedarville University, 16 rounds ahead of his twin brother Ryan. In 105 professional outings, 84 starts, Round Rocks Ledbetter is 22-32 with a 5.45 ERA and has yet to make his big league debut.
Last Time Out – July 2 – Win at Iowa –
Ledbetter improved to 2-0 with seven strong innings against the I-Cubs at Principal Park. He allowed two runs on eight hits in seven innings, while walking a pair and striking out four on a season-high 101 pitches, 61 of which went for strikes.
Dan Karcher (@SkySoxKarch) continues his 28th season behind the mic for Sky Sox games, he will have the call of tonight game from Dell Diamond 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,