A week off in baseball is just about unheard of and honestly unwelcome…But that’s what the Sox and I-Cubs were dealing with, thanks to Thursday, Friday, and Saturday being postponed due to the rain and unplayable field conditions. At. Long. Last. The two teams were able to get their series underway (and complete it) with a doubleheader on Sunday morning along the front range. And wouldn’t you know it, the Sky Sox swept it with TWO walk-off wins.
Game one saw the Cubs jump out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on a Mark Zagunis RBI single against Taylor Jungmann, but that was all they would muster as the combination of Jungmann, Wei-Chung Wang, and Tristan Archer limited the Cubs to the one run on six hits.
The Sox bats manufactured a run to tie the game in the fourth when Lewis Brinson tripled against Williams Perez to open the frame and scored on Ivan De Jesus’ sac fly, one play later.
Perez went the first six for the Cubs and Justin Hancock was called upon for the seventh and final frame. The righty was greeted by an Ivan De Jesus double, then a groundout put him at third with one out. Nate Orf was at the dish when Hancock let go a wild one that allowed De Jesus to scamper home from third with the game-winning run. 2-1 Sox.
Game two had the Sox in front by three in the third inning, courtesy of a Kyle Wren RBI single and Mauricio Dubon’s two-run shot with two down. The blast was his second in Triple-A, the first of course being an inside-the-park HR against Nashville on the last homestand.
Ali Solis took Paolo Espino deep for two in the top of the fourth and trimmed the Sox lead to 3-2. The scoring continued over the next two innings and the Cubs found themselves in front 4-3. Mark Zagunis and Elliot Soto delivered RBI knocks in the fifth and sixth innings to put the visitors in front.
The Sox would wait until the bottom of the seventh (the final inning in regulation) to tie it up. Tyler Bortnick singled to begin the inning, moved to second on a sac bunt, then to third on a Wren groundout and scored on Mauricio Dubon’s single to left, 4-4 and on to extras we went!
The top of the eighth saw Andrew Barbosa worked around a leadoff single and sent the game to the bottom of the eighth tied. Jack Leathersich came on in relief for Iowa and retired the first two batters, before Nate Orf stepped in and CRUSHED a 2-2 pitch over the wall in left for a walk-off solo homer! 5-4 Sox.
Hitting Notes from both games –
Ivan De Jesus extended his hitting streak to 18 games with his game-one double, but saw it come to an end with an 0-for-3 performance in game two. HOWEVAH…He did walk in the second game, thus extending his on-base streak to 34 games. Not too shabby!
Lewis Brinson had a hit in each game, a triple in the first and a single in the second.
Nate Orf played right field for the first time since 2015 and made some nice plays out there! He also had a hit in each game.
Kyle Wren walked in game one and singled home a run and scored a run in the second.
Mauricio Dubon went 2-for-4 with a homer and three RBI in the second game.
Nick Noonan had a 2-for-3 game in the finale.
Tyler Bortnick returned to affiliated ball and went 1-for-3 with a run scored in his debut with the Sox.
Pitching Notes from both games –
Taylor Jungmann was very good again and limited the Cubs to a run on four hits while striking out four in game one.
Wei-Chung Wang worked around two baserunners and tossed a scoreless inning in game one.
Tristan Archer earned the win with a scoreless seventh.
Paolo Espino couldn’t make it out of the fifth inning and allowed three runs on six hits, while fanning four.
Tom Wilhelmsen got the lone man he faced.
David Goforth allowed the go-ahead run to score on two hits in the sixth inning.
Matt Ramsey made his Triple-A debut and went a scoreless seventh walking one.
Andrew Barbosa improved to 3-1 with the win after a scoreless eighth.
Plays of the Games –
For the Sox the two walk-off plays certainly standout, but guess what…There’s no video of them! So I present to you, the Mauricio Dubon homer from game two –
Pregame Interview with Dan Karcher and Sky Sox Manager Rick Sweet (Recorded Thursday) –
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (57-34) at Omaha Storm Chasers (42-50) – 6:05 p.m.
Sky Sox Starter: Right-hander Bubba Derby will make his fifth Triple-A start tonight in the series opener against the Storm Chasers. He has earned the win in two of his first four outings with the Sox this season. Tonight marks his third start against the Chasers in his brief Triple-A career. He is 1-0 against Omaha, allowing four runs on nine hits in 10 2/3 innings. Raul Mondesi has taken him deep twice, once in each start. Overall with the Sox he’s allowed six runs on 17 hits in 21 2/3 innings. He’s walked four and fanned 19. In 18 games and two starts with Biloxi, Derby went 2-1 with a 2.88 ERA, allowing 16 runs on 40 hits in 50 innings. He has allowed four runs on 12 hits in 16.2 Triple-A innings.
Derby was selected by the Athletics in the sixth round of the 2015 draft out of San Diego State University and was acquired by the Brewers, along with catcher Jacob Nottingham, in the trade that sent Khris Davis to Oakland. In 62 MiLB outings, 41 starts, the righty is 11-15 with a 4.07 ERA.
Last Time Out – July 8 – No decision at Round Rock –
Derby went the first five innings and gave up a pair of runs on five hits, while walking one and striking out seven on 81 pitches (a Triple-A high), 50 of which went for strikes.
Storm Chasers Starting Arm: RHP Jake Junis gets the nod to go in the opener of the set against the Sox tonight in the Big O. The 24 year old righty will make hit 10th start in a Storm Chasers uniform and second against the Sky Sox this season. He started on April 7th in the Springs and went 6 1/3, allowed two runs on four hits, didn’t walk anyone and struck out seven. In nine PCL starts he’s allowed 18 runs on 47 hits in 54 innings. PCL opponents are hitting .229 against the Illinois native. He’s made eight appearances, six starts, in the big leagues to the tune of a 2-2 record and 5.66 ERA. Up there he’s allowed 25 runs on 41 hits in 35 innings.
Junis entered 2017 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 30-42 with a 4.26 ERA.
Last Time Out – July 9 – Loss at Iowa –
Junis allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits in five innings against the Cubs. He hit two batters and struck out six on 79 pitches, 56 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 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,