Tyler Matzek (1-0) turned in a dominant winning performance in his Triple-A debut as the Colorado Springs Sky Sox crushed the New Orleans Zephyrs 8-2 on Saturday night at Zephyr Field. The young lefty struck out 11 New Orleans batters in his five innings of work and fell one punch-out short of tying Jeff Francis' record of 12 strikeouts in his Sky Sox and Triple-A debut on July 14, 2004 also at New Orleans.
It was the second straight night of outstanding Triple-A debuts for Sky Sox starters as Christian Bergman picked up the win on Friday night after seven solid innings of work in his first start. Matzek's only blemishes on Saturday night were a first inning solo home run by Josh Rodriguez (1), a fifth inning double by Jake Marisnick and two walks.
At one point, Matzek had struck out six straight batters and fell one strikeout short of tying the Sky Sox record of seven consecutive punch outs set by Willie Blair on July 23, 1991 in Colorado Springs against the Las Vegas Stars.
Almost lost behind the outstanding mound performance was the continued hot hitting for the Sky Sox. Colorado Springs jumped out to a big lead with a five-run first inning off Adam Conley (0-1) which was highlighted by a two-run double by Kyle Parker and a two-run single by Drew Garcia. Matt McBride also contributed an RBI double in the frame.
Rodriguez's solo homer in the bottom half of the inning cut the lead to 5-1 but the Sky Sox answered with two runs in the fourth on a Josh Rutledge two-run double and another run in the sixth on a Ryan Wheeler RBI single.
Greg Burke relieved Matzek in the sixth and turned in two perfect innings of work in his Sky Sox debut before giving way to Rob Scahill who worked a scoreless eighth. Cole White gave up a solo homer to Justin Bour (1) in the ninth but finished it out quickly to secure the 8-2 win.
The final game of the four-game series is set for tomorrow afternoon at 12:00 PM (MDT). The Sky Sox will send out LH Pedro Hernandez (NR) to face RH Elih Villanueva (NR) as they look to win the series.