COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - In the biggest game of his career so far, Ben Paulsen homered three times and drove in seven runs as the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (53-82) topped the Albuquerque Isotopes (59-75) 12-10 on Saturday night at Security Service Field in front of a sellout crowd of 8,891 fans.
For Paulsen, it was his first ever three-homer game and the seven RBI are a career-high. After flying out to left in his first at bat, Paulsen started his home run barrage with a grand slam to left in the third inning. It was the first slam of the season for the Sky Sox and gives the franchise a grand slam in all 27 years of it’s existence. Paulsen followed the salami up with a solo blast to right in the fifth and capped it off with a two-run shot to right in the sixth. He had an opportunity for a fourth homer in the eighth but flew out to center to finish 3-for-5.
In addition to Paulsen, shortstop Cristhian Adames launched at solo homer, his first at Triple-A, and outfielder Jason Pridie crushed a two-run bomb. Both came in a five-run fifth inning, along with Paulsen’s solo homer, and allowed the Sox to rally from an 8-5 deficit to take a 10-8 lead that they wouldn’t relinquish.
Yohan Flande (3-10) picked up the win despite giving up eight runs on 11 hits in his 5.1 innings of work. Rob Scahill notched his second save of the season after facing and retiring the final batter of the game with the go-ahead run at the plate.
Barry Enright (0-4) was tagged with the loss in relief after surrendering five runs on seven hits.
Almost overshadowed by Paulsen’s night was the accomplishment of Albuquerque outfielder Joc Pederson who became the first modern era PCL player to register a “30/30” season (30 homers & 30 stolen bases). Pederson came into the night with 32 bombs and 29 bags but walked and then stole second off of Sox reliever Rafael Betancourt in the sixth inning.
With the win, the Sky Sox earned a series split with Albuquerque and will welcome the El Paso Chihuahuas to town for the final home series of the 2014 season starting tomorrow night. Sunday’s game is set for a 5:05 PM start with RH Dan Houston (2-5, 6.17) set to take the hill for the Sky Sox against LH Juan Oramas (7-6, 5.15).