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Orf Walks Sky Sox Off 5-4 Over Express

Sky Sox come back twice, then win in extra innings.
July 23, 2016

Down a pair of runs in extra innings, the Colorado Springs Sky Sox rallied to come back and defeat the Round Rock Express 5-4 in a 12 inning thriller in front of 5,483 at Security Service Field on Saturday night.

After the Express scored two in the 11th to take the lead, the Sky Sox answered in the bottom half. With one out and two runners on against closer Carlos Fisher, Keon Broxton laced a double to left-center, scoring Nate Orf and pinch-runner Eric Young Jr. to tie the game and send the game to the 12th inning.

In the 12th inning, Orf became the hero with a two-out walk off singe to give the Sky Sox the thrilling come from behind victory.

After a rain delay of 24 minutes pushed back the start of the game, Josh Hader (0-3, 6.42) took the mound for the Sky Sox to begin the night. The Express quickly took the lead off him in the first. With one out and a runner on first, Brett Nicholas tripled to left-center to bring home Doug Bernier with the game's first run. Nicholas scored a couple batters on a fielder's choice ground out from Joey Gallo to give the Express an early 2-0 lead.

After the rough first inning, Hader settled down. After a leadoff walk in the second, Sky Sox pitching coach Fred Dabney went to the mound to chat with his young pitcher. Hader responded by picking off Patrick Cantwell from first base to get the first out of the inning.

Over the rest of his start, Hader retired 14 of the final 15 batters he faced between the second and sixth innings. In his best start at Security Service Field since joining the Sky Sox, Hader pitched six innings, allowing two earned runs on three hits while walking two and striking out six.

Colorado Springs finally got on the board off Round Rock starter Eric Jokisch (2-2, 4.46) in the fifth inning.

Garin Cecchini and Brandon Macias singled to put runners on the corners with one out. Kyle Wren then hit a ground ball up the middle for a fielder's choice ground out, allowing Macias to score the first run of the game for the Sky Sox.

Michael Blazek entered in relief of Hader in the seventh and allowed a pair of one out singles that gave the Express runners on the corners. Blazek escaped the trouble by inducing a ground ball double play from Beck to keep the Sky Sox down just a run.

Broxton led off the bottom half with a triple to right against Round Rock reliever Jose Leclerc to put the tying run in scoring position. A couple batters later, Broxton came home with the tying run on a sacrifice fly from Cecchini to even the score at two.

Blazek pitched two and a third scoreless innings before the Sky Sox turned to Michael Kirkman with one out in the ninth. After a walk and a hit by pitch, Patrick Cantwell grounded out to put runners at second and third with two outs. Kirkman then struck out Beck looking to keep the game tied going to the bottom of the ninth. Neal Cotts then pitched a scoreless bottom half to send the game to extra innings.

In the 11th, Justin Ruggiano hit a one out double off Sky Sox reliever Rob Scahill to score Carlos Arroyo with the go-ahead run for Round Rock. Ruggiano later came around to score on a wild pitch to give the Express a 4-2 lead going to the bottom of the 11th. But it wouldn't last.

David Goforth pitched a scoreless inning and a third for the Sky Sox, and he would be the winning pitcher thanks to the late heroics from the offense.

Hiram Burgos (5-7, 5.20) is scheduled to get the start for the Sky Sox in game three of the series on Sunday night. First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 p.m. MDT at Security Service Field.