Sky Sox Capitalize On Four Fresno Errors, Win 8-6

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The Colorado Springs Sky Sox (30-18) scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning and capitalized on four Fresno Grizzlies’ (27-24) errors to win, 8-6 on Sunday after at Security Service Field. The Sky Sox have now won five straight and are now 1.5 games up on the Tacoma Rainiers for first place in the Pacific Northern division.

Outfielder Corey Dickerson recorded the first hit in the game leading off the first when he lined a single to center field. Grizzlies’ starting pitcher Chris Heston then loaded the bases when he hit Josh Rutledge and Tyler Colvin. Last night’s hero Ben Paulsen then stepped up to the plate and plated two runs with a single to center. On the play, Colvin was thrown out at third by Gary Brown to end the inning.

Drew Pomeranz allowed his first hit of the day to the lead-off batter in the second inning when Cole Gillespie smacked a double. The next batter Johnny Monell, plated Gillespie on a line drive to center field to bring the Grizzlies within one at 2-1.

Both pitchers settled down in the third inning and delivered two straight scoreless innings. In the fifth, Fresno’s Carter Jurica and Juan Ciriaco laced back-to-back singles to begin the inning and advanced to second and third on a sacrifice bunt by Heston. Both then proceeded to score on a single by Brown. Following Brown’s hit, Fransico Peguero hit a single and Pomeranz issued a walk back-to-back walks, the last with the bases loaded, to drive in a run and make it 4-2 Fresno.

Fresno’s lead proved to be short lived when Corey Dickerson belted a triple, his PCL-leading seventh of the year, and then scored when Ryan Wheeler grounded into a double play. With two outs in the inning Matt McBride slugged his ninth homer of the season to tie it back up at four.

The back-and-forth affair continued in the top of the next inning when Ciriaco walked, stole second, and then scored on a Juan Perez single. Paulsen and Culberson both got on base with singles in the sixth and Paulsen scored when pinch-hitter Hernan Iribarren grounded into a force out, but was ruled safe on a throwing error by Ciriaco.

With the score still tied at five entering the bottom of the eighth the game threatened to go into extras for the second consecutive day, but two errors doomed Fresno. Ciriaco committed the first error of the inning and his second of the day when he bobbled Ben Paulsen’s grounder. After Culberson struck out, Greg Golson singled to put two runners on. Tommy Manzella then came on to pinch-hit and grounded to the pitcher Dan Runzler, but Runzler overthrew first base which brought home two runs. The Sky Sox added their final run of the afternoon later in that inning on a Rutledge RBI double.

Colorado Springs closer Logan Kensing came on to pitch the ninth and allowed one run on a Monell RBI single before closing out the inning to earn his fifth save of the year. Tomorrow the Sox are looking for their first series sweep of the year against the Fresno Grizzlies at 12:35 pm on Memorial Day. Right-hander Drew Carpenter (0-0, 4.70), who is looking for his first win in a Sky Sox uniform, will face righty Shane Loux (4-2, 4.75).