Despite an offensive slugfest by both teams, which included 19 hits apiece, the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (5-5) couldn’t recreate Friday night’s walk-off win, dropping Saturday’s matinee, 16-12, to the Round Rock Express (6-4).
Trailing 11-5, the Sky Sox were blanked in the middle innings until they struck paydirt in the seventh to come within one run of the Express. On six hits, including two doubles by LF Tim Wheeler, his second of the day, and SS Drew Garcia, the Sky Sox tacked on five runs to cut the lead to 11-10.
In the eighth inning, T. Wheeler tied the game up with a lead-off inside-the-park home run to right field off RHP Neftali Feliz (1-0) to put the Sox into a great position with zero outs. The team couldn’t capitalize, however, as they grounded out and grounded into a double play to end the inning.
Wheeler’s inside-the-parker was the first by a Sky Sox player since Eric Young, Jr. did so on August 23, 2009 versus Reno.
The Express put the game out of reach in the ninth with their own five-run inning off of RHP Chris Martin (0-1) thanks to six consecutive singles to start the inning.
But with the Friday’s theatrics, fans couldn’t count the Sox out yet with RF Kyle Parker hitting a lead-off home run. However, the comeback ended their as RHP Lisalverto Bonilla sat the final three batters down in order.
The Sky Sox received contribution from the entire lineup with five players recording at least three hits, including near cycles by Parker and C Michael McKenry, each fell a triple shy. Parker led the Sky Sox with four RBI and three runs, while McKenry drove in three runs. T. Wheeler, 1B Ben Paulsen and DH Matt McBride also picked up three hits.
2B Brent Lillibridge picked up four hits of his own, scoring four runs, driving in three, while swiping three bags, while 1B Brett Nicholas and CF Jared Hoying each smacked their second and third home runs of the season, respectively.
Both teams will play again at 1:35 p.m. (MDT) Sunday in game three of the four-game series. LHP Yohan Flande (0-1, 9.00 ERA) will take the mound for Colorado Springs, facing off against LHP Ryan Feierabend (1-0, 5.87) for Round Rock.
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