The Colorado Springs Sky Sox (36-29) hold off the Salt Lake Bees in the ninth inning to win 5-4 (34-34) and split the series on the last game of the homestand.
Up 5-3 in the ninth inning the Sky Sox’ lead began to be threatened when Kole Calhoun smacked a single into right field with one out. The outfielder then stole second base to put a runner in scoring position. After Tommy Field flied out, centerfielder Trent Oeltjen drove in Calhoun to cut the Sox’ lead down to one. The next batter Luke Carlin then singled to put runners on first and second with designated hitter, Luis Rodriguez due up. While Rodriguez was batting, catcher Matt McBride threw down to first base, after a ball was thrown in the dirt, and caught Carlin off of the bag. Ben Paulsen then threw to Drew Garcia who tagged out Carlin to end the game and secure the win.
Colorado Springs built up their eventual 5-3 lead back in the third inning. Down 1-0, Tim Wheeler and Drew Garcia smacked back-to-back singles to start off the inning. With a 0-1 count, Charlie Blackmon laced a triple to right field to make it 2-1 Sox. The next batter, Hernan Iribarren, hit an infield single and then stole second. The next two runs scored on sacrifice flies by Corey Dickerson and Matt McBride to increase their lead to 4-1.
Spot starter Cory Riordan kept the Bees’ offense in check for four innings, only allowing one run and striking out a season-high six batters. In the fifth the Sky Sox increased their lead to four on Corey Dickerson’s ninth homer of the season.
Salt Lake didn’t score again until eighth inning when a two-run single by Luis Rodriguez brought the team within two runs. Reliever Logan Kensing earned the save after relieving Coty Woods with two outs in the ninth and reliever Brett Jacobson got the win after pitching a scoreless fifth and sixth inning.
After earning the split the Sky Sox will now travel to Las Vegas for a four-game road trip before returning home to face the first place Tacoma Rainiers. Right-hander Drew Carpenter (0-3, 5.81) will start the first game of the road trip for the Sky Sox against 51’s right-hander Matt Fox (1-2, 6.23).