Third baseman Christian Colonel delivered a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the tenth inning to give the Colorado Springs Sky Sox a 3-2 win over the visiting Portland Beavers on Sunday afternoon at Security Service Field in front of 3,656 fans. Colonel’s hit made a winner of reliever Matt Belisle (1-1) who worked two scoreless innings in relief and put the loss on Portland reliever Eulogio de la Cruz (0-3).
Before Colonel’s walk-off heroics in extra innings, the game featured a good old-fashioned pitchers duel between Sox hurler Alan Johnson and Beavers pitcher Brian Lawrence. Johnson turned in a great performance giving up just two runs on six hits over seven innings of work and was almost outdone by Lawrence who tossed eight innings and gave up two runs, one earned, on seven hits.
Portland struck first in the game when leftfielder Chad Huffman launched a two-run homer over the left field wall off Johnson. It turned out to be all the offense Portland could muster. So far in the series, Huffman has accounted for all of the Beavers RBIs (three yesterday, two today).
The Sky Sox fought back and tied the game at 2-2 in the third with a little help from Portland. After the first two Sox were retired, leadoff hitter Mike McCoy singled and then came around to score on a triple by centerfielder Chris Frey. The next batter, Matt Murton, then sent a bouncing ball towards third base and Craig Stansberry misplayed the ball to allow Frey to scamper home to tie up the game.
With the scored knotted at two all for the next six innings, the Sox finally rallied in the bottom of the tenth. With one out, Murton worked a walk and then moved to third on a single to left by second baseman Jeff Baker. Pinch-hitter Mark Bellhorn was then intentionally walked to load the bases to bring up Colonel who feasted on the first pitch from De la Cruz and sent a high chopper over third base and into left field for the winning hit.
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