COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The Colorado Springs Sky Sox (63-68) and the Sacramento River Cats (74-60) had perfect baseball weather on Friday night at Security Service Field and split a double header after torrential rain washed out their game on Thursday evening. A crowd of 6,164 saw the Sky Sox win 5-4 with a walk-off in game one and then saw Michael Taylor blast an extra-inning three-run homer to win game two for the Cats, 4-1.
In game one, it was a back-and-forth affair that saw the River Cats take a 3-2 lead into the sixth inning. Kent Matthes continued his amazing dominance of Sacramento as he blasted a two-run homer in the bottom half of the frame and put the Sox ahead 4-3. It was his ninth home run of the season and his whopping seventh against the River Cats.
The lead was short lived however as Sacramento tied it up at four all in the seventh on an RBI single by Shane Peterson.
That set up the dramatics in the bottom of the inning as Drew Garcia doubled with one out and then moved to third on a groundout by Tim Wheeler. In a surprise move that caught the River Cats off guard, Hernan Iribarren laid down a perfect drag bunt just past the pitcher Pedro Figueroa who got the tip of his glove on the ball but was unable to corral it in time and throw out Iribarren. That bunt single allowed Garcia to scamper home for the winning run and give the Sox the walk-off win. It was their ninth walk-off win of the season and made a winner of Mitchell Boggs (1-2) and a loser of Figueroa (3-4).
Game two was a pitchers duel throughout. Sacramento starter Fernando Nieve carried a perfect game into the fourth inning before a rare strikeout throwing error by the catcher allowed Tim Wheeler to reach to lead off the inning. Wheeler was able to get all the way around to second on the play as catcher Ryan Ortiz was unable to complete the throw to first after strike three got away from him. Wheeler then moved to third on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch to tie the game up at 1-1 without the aid of a hit.
Colorado Springs starter Cory Riordan turned in a great outing as well by working 5.1 innings and giving up just one run on five hits.
The game remained tied at 1-1 as the game headed to extras. In the eighth, Hisanori Takahashi quickly got two outs before surrendering back-to-back singles. Steven Hensley came on in relief to face Taylor who smacked a three-run bomb to left center to give the River Cats the 4-1 lead. In his career, Taylor has now played in 50 games against the Sky Sox and has 51 RBI.
The fourth game of the five-game series is set for tomorrow night as the Sky Sox send out RHP Sean Gallagher (1-2, 4.55) to face LHP Andrew Werner (11-13, 5.98). First pitch is set for 6:05 PM.