ROUND ROCK, Texas – After battling back from a 1-0 deficit in a hard-fought pitcher’s duel, the Round Rock Express (22-21) lost 3-1 in 10 innings to the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (25-16) on Sunday afternoon, splitting the four-game set at Dell Diamond.
Express starter Ryan Feierabend was impressive, holding Colorado Springs to just one run over 7.0 innings of work in his best start of the season. The lone blemish on Feierabend’s day came in the top of the fourth when second baseman Charlie Culberson singled to begin the frame. Two batters later, catcher Matt McBride ripped a double to plate Culberson all the way from first as the Sky Sox took an early 1-0 lead.
Colorado Springs starter Chris Volstad was equally as dominant, holding the Express offense to just four hits through 5.2 scoreless innings on the afternoon. Volstad rebounded from his last start in which he allowed five runs to Omaha on May 14.
After Colorado Springs lifted Volstad with two outs in the sixth, the Express was able to touch up the bullpen in the bottom of the seventh. Third baseman Alex Buchholz looped a soft fly ball down the right field line for a one-out double to set the table for designated hitter Mike Bianucci who had joined the team earlier in the day. In his second at-bat of the day, Bianucci followed with a double of his own down the left field line to bring Buchholz home and knot the game at one.
As the bullpens on either side remained stingy, the Express and Sky Sox entered extra innings for the first time in the two clubs’ 36-game, head-to-head history.
Round Rock called on Arlett Mavare to begin the top of the 10th. The right-hander was the second newcomer to Round Rock on Sunday, joining the team from Frisco (Double-A). Colorado Springs spoiled Mavare’s Triple-A debut as the Sky Sox plated two to take a 3-1 lead heading into the bottom of the 10th.
Sky Sox reliever Logan Kensing canceled any plans the Express had of a second comeback, finishing off Round Rock for his second save of the series and third of the year. Mavare suffered the loss in his first action with the E-Train in 2013, while Mike McClendon earned the victory after 1.0 scoreless inning in relief.
The Express continues its homestand with the series opener of a four-game set against the Reno Aces (Diamondbacks) Monday night at Dell Diamond. With first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m., the E-Train will send right-hander Jake Brigham (0-1, 16.71 ERA) to face Aces starter Chase Anderson (3-4, 5.52 ERA). Monday night at Dell Diamond will feature $1.00 hot dogs and sodas, presented by Mrs Baird’s as well as Tyson Foods Night.