Thursday, August 23, 2018 vs. Iowa Cubs (CHC)
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (67-59) | Iowa Cubs (46-82)
SKY SOX COMPLETE BACK-TO-BACK SWEEPS; WIN SIXTH STRAIGHT
The Sky Sox finished a three-game sweep of the Cubs Thursday after sweeping Omaha earlier this homestand
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The Sky Sox finished a three-game sweep of the Cubs Thursday night with an 8-1 victory, after sweeping the Omaha Storm Chasers in a three-game set earlier this homestand. That marked the first time in the Brewers era that the Sky Sox have ever swept a homestand with at least two series.
After winning both games of yesterday's doubleheader, the Sky Sox came screaming out of the gate in the final game of this series and this homestand, scoring a quartet of runs in the very first inning. Nate Orf led off with a walk for Colorado Springs, advancing to second on a Tyler Saladino single. Christian Bethancourt then singled Orf home for the first run of the contest, before being picked off at first for the Sky Sox' first out of the evening. Domingo Santana-the hero of yesterday's doubleheader after hitting walkoffs in BOTH games of the twin bill-kept the momentum rolling with a double to plate Saladino and make it a 2-0 game. Rymer Liriano then belted a two-run shot to double Colorado Springs' lead.
Sky Sox starter Aaron Brooks didn't allow a hit until the third inning, when he gave up a leadoff triple to Jacob Hannemann. Iowa's starting pitcher Trevor Clifton then helped out his own cause with an RBI single to score Hannemann easily from third for the Cubs' first run of the night.
After a pair of scoreless frames, the Sky Sox scored again in the sixth. Clint Coulter led off with a single-his second of the night after collecting his first Triple-A hit in the third inning-moving up to second when Dylan Moore was hit by pitch. Brooks laid down a sacrifice bunt to move both runners into scoring position, before Orf was intentionally walked to load the bases. Saladino then drew a walk of his own, forcing home Coulter to make it 5-1 Sky Sox.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Liriano drew a one-out walk to put one on for Coulter, who hit his first career Triple-A homer to dead center field, bouncing it off the batter's eye to give Colorado Springs a 7-1 lead.
The Sky Sox scored for the third consecutive inning in the eighth frame, when Saladino hit a solo homer off the batter's eye as well to make it an 8-1 ballgame. There would be no further scoring in the game, as the Sky Sox completed the sweep of the series as well as the homestand.
The Sky Sox wrap up their homestand as well as their series against the Iowa Cubs tonight, before going on their final road trip to Oklahoma City and Omaha to play a four-game set against the Dodgers and a three-game set against the Storm Chasers. For all information on Sky Sox, follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and visit the team's website at www.skysox.com.
Friday's Preview: In game one of Colorado Springs' final road trip of 2018 and this four-game series against the Dodgers in Oklahoma City, the Sky Sox are sending righty Brandon Woodruff to the mound to face off against fellow righty Zach Neal for the Dodgers. Both hurlers are 3-2 and in search of their fourth win of the season.
Yet Another Quality from Brooks: Aaron Brooks tossed another quality outing Thursday night, marking his fourth consecutive quality start and fifth overall in his last seven bids. Through seven innings, Brooks allowed just one run on three hits with a sole walk and five strikeouts.
Welcome to Triple-A: Clint Coulter made his Triple-A debut with the Sky Sox Thursday night, notching a number of "firsts". He collected his first Triple-A hit with a single in the third inning, and his first Triple-A home run and RBI with a 2-run shot to straight center in the seventh inning that bounced off the batter's eye. Coulter finished the night going 3-for-4 with a homer, two runs, and two RBI.
Home Sweep Home: With the completion of the three-game sweep of the Cubs Thursday night, the Sky Sox swept both series of a homestand for the first time ever in the Brewers era. They had swept the Omaha Storm Chasers in a three-game series earlier in the homestand.
The Roster Grows: With the addition of Clint Coulter on Thursday, he becomes the 63rd player to play for the Sky Sox this season (31 position players, 32 pitchers), which marks the third most players used in one season for the Sky Sox. The single season mark is 67 players that played for the Sky Sox in the 2005 season (34 position players, 33 pitchers). In the 2012 season, the second most used was 64 players for the Sky Sox that year (25 position players, and 39 pitchers). NOTE: During the 2005 season, there could have been 71 players that season, but there were four position players who were called up during that season but did not appear in a game. One of those position players was Pedro Strop, who switched to a pitcher, never came back to the Sky Sox in a pitching capacity, and is now a reliever with the Chicago Cubs. With the addition of Clint Coulter, he becomes the 1,092nd player to play in a game in the 31-year history of the Sky Sox (516 position players, 576 pitchers), regular season OR postseason. Currently, 828 of those 1092 players (75.8%) have played at least one game in Major League Baseball. There have been seven additional players that were called up to the Sky Sox during the Rockies era (between 1993 and 2006), but did not appear in a game, including the aforementioned Pedro Strop. The all-time roster could expand some more, in the event the Sky Sox makes the playoffs. Three players made their Sky Sox debut in the postseason last year, including Jacob Nottingham.
Not One, but Two: Outfielder Domingo Santana hit not one, but TWO walkoffs on Wednesday evening against the Iowa Cubs. In game one of the doubleheader, Santana hit a walkoff RBI single in extra innings, and in game two Santana hit a walkoff RBI double in the bottom of the seventh to hand the Sky Sox the doubleheader sweep over the Cubs.
Sweet Makes Franchise History: With the two wins on Wednesday night, manager Rick Sweet's overall win count improves to 277 total overall with the Sky Sox, surpassing former manager Brad Mills' for most overall club wins as Sky Sox manager.
A First in Extras: The Sky Sox entered into their 11th extra-inning game Wednesday night in game one of the doubleheader. The 8th inning victory marked just their third win in extras and the first win in extras at home this season. The team is now 1-6 at home in extra innings.
The Hunt For First: The Sky Sox continue the hunt for their second-consecutive playoff run, battling it out with other top contender of the American North - the Oklahoma City Dodgers. Currently, the Sky Sox trail the Dodgers in the standings by half a game with 13 regular season games left in 2018. Last season, the Sky Sox broke one of the longest postseason droughts in professional sports - taking the American North division for the first time and breaking their 20-year absence.
Franchise Climb in Steals: The two stolen bases Wednesday for the Sky Sox gives them 155 stolen bases in a season, which marks the second highest amount of stolen bases in a season by a Sky Sox team. The single season record is 169 stolen bases, which happened during the 2009 season.
Another Five-Hit Victory: The Sky Sox marked their eighth overall victory this season when recording five or fewer hits in game one of Wednesday's double-header against Iowa. The Sky Sox recorded half of the instances when facing the Cubs. Other instances: (4/28 vs. Omaha (5); 6/23 Game 2 @ Iowa (5); 6/24 @ Iowa (5); 7/6 Game One vs. New Orleans (3); 7/12 @ New Orleans (5); 8/14 @ Iowa (5); 8/18 vs. OMA (5).
Double-Header Walk-Off History: There have been two instances where the Sky Sox won both games of a doubleheader in walk- off fashion. The first instance is the only instance where both games were won on walk-off hits: April 11th, 2013 against the Tucson Padres, Game 1, Sky Sox won 5-4 with a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the 7th inning by Ryan Wheeler. In Game 2, the Sky Sox won 4-3, when the Sky Sox rallied with a 3-run bottom of the seventh, completed by Charlie Blackmon's walk-off, two-run triple. Current St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Miles Mikolas took the loss for Tucson in Game 2. The other instance came last year in a doubleheader against the Iowa Cubs, only one of them by a hit, and with Nate Orf scoring both winners: July 16th, 2017 against the Iowa Cubs. In Game 1, Sky Sox won 2-1, with Ivan DeJesus, Jr. batting, Nate Orf scores the winning run on a Justin Hancock wild pitch in the bottom of the 7th. In Game 2, Sky Sox won 5-4 with a walk-off solo homer in the bottom of the 8th inning by Nate Orf.
Iowa First and Lasts: As tonight is the final scheduled game between these two squads, here is a look at first and last games between the Sky Sox and Iowa Cubs. The first Sky Sox game vs. Iowa: May 9th, 1998 in Colorado Springs. Dan Cholowsky went 2-for-3 with an RBI, and Derrick Gibson belted a two-run homer as the Sky Sox beat Iowa, 5-4. Alan Zinter and Rod McCall homered in the loss for Iowa. The first Sky Sox game in Des Moines: May 17th, 1998 at Sec Taylor Stadium (renamed Principal Park in 2004). Tim Unroe went 2-for-4, and Pat Cline belted a two-run homer as the Iowa Cubs beat the Sky Sox, 5-2. The last Sky Sox game in Des Moines was last Thursday on August 16th. Stephen Bruno went 3-for-4 with 2 RBI, and Jason Vosler belted a 3-run homer as the Iowa Cubs beat the Sky Sox, 9-3.
Iowa History: The very first minor league baseball game that the Colorado Springs Millionaires played took place on May 3rd, 1901 against the Des Moines Hawkeyes, at Washburn Field in Colorado Springs. Fred Glade picked up the win for Des Moines, as the Hawkeyes beat the Millionaires, 5-2. It was the only season that the Millionaires played there. Washburn Field, still being used today at Colorado College, was the home for CC baseball through the 1930's and CC Football from the 1890's through 2009. The Millionaires won the first game in Des Moines on May 24th, 1901, winning 1-0. The Millionaires played at Boulevard Park on the southwest part of Colorado Springs from 1902 until the team left in July 1905, before coming back for 12 games at the end of the 1916 season. With the recent flurry of doubleheaders that the current era Iowa Cubs and Sky Sox have played, it's interesting to note that during the 1950s era of minor league baseball between Colorado Springs and Des Moines in the SIngle-A Western League, the first and last meetings during that nine-year run from 1950-1958 between the two clubs were all doubleheaders. The first meeting between the Single-A Sky Sox and Des Moines Bruins on May 7th, 1950 at Pioneer Memorial Stadium (the former stadium that was located on the same site as the current Principal Park) was a doubleheader. Colorado Springs won game 1, 5-1, while Des Moines won game 2, 5-1. The first meeting between the Single-A Sky Sox and Des Moines Bruins in Colorado Springs on May 26th, 1950 at Memorial Park (the stadium still exists today, now known as Spurgeon Stadium, just east of downtown), was also a doubleheader. Colorado Springs won game 1, 10-9, while Des Moines won game 2, 12-1. By 1958, the Des Moines team was known as the Des Moines Dodgers. The last meeting in Colorado Springs was a doubleheader on August 17th, 1958, with Colorado Springs winning both games, 9-3 and 5-0. The last meeting in Des Moines at Pioneer Memorial Stadium was on August 24th, 1958, also a doubleheader. Des Moines won game 1, 6-5, while Colorado Springs won game 2, 8-0. The Western League folded after the 1958, and then Colorado Springs went without minor league baseball for nearly 30 years, until the current era Sky Sox arrived from Honolulu prior to the 1988 season.
Cycle Just Missed: Outfielder Tyrone Taylor came just short of the Sky Sox first cycle of the season on Sunday after starting the day off with a home run and following up with a triple and single. In his final at bat, Taylor knocked a sharp single to centerfield and tried to stretch a double to complete the feat, but was thrown out at second.
17 Runs: The Sky Sox tied for their most amount of runs recorded in a game on Sunday. The team set the feat on April 30 against Nashville at Security Service Field. They were just four hits shy of breaking the most hits in a game (20) with 17 total on the day. It marked the first time the Sky Sox have scored 17 runs in a game against Omaha.
This Week's Preview: The Sky Sox wrap up their homestand as well as their series against the Iowa Cubs tonight, before going on their final road trip to Oklahoma City and Omaha to play a four-game set against the Dodgers and a three-game set against the Storm Chasers.
NEXT GAME: Friday, August 24 at 6:05 p.m. MT vs. OKC Dodgers @ Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark
RHP Brandon Woodruff (3-2, 3.78) vs. RHP Zach Neal (3-2, 4.25) - Broadcast on XTRA Sports 1300
NEXT HOME GAME: Friday, August 31 at 6:40 p.m. MT vs. Oklahoma City Dodgers @ Security Service Field