COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado - The Round Rock Express (3-8) and Colorado Springs Sky Sox (7-3) split a doubleheader on Sunday afternoon at Security Service Field as the E-Train dropped game one 7-4 before rebounding for a 5-4 victory in game two.
In the first contest, Round Rock LHP David Hurlbut (0-1, 9.00) suffered the loss after allowing three runs on four hits in 3.0 innings of work in his first start of the year after spending time on the disabled list. Sky Sox starter RHP Freddy Peralta (3-0, 1.13) collected the win after holding the Express to two runs on seven hits in 6.0 innings.
The Sky Sox wasted little time taking the lead as CF Keon Broxton led off the game with a single before stealing second base and moving to third on a Mauricio Dubon groundout. An ensuing Brett Phillips single put Colorado Springs on the board. Two hitters later, DH Ji-Man Choi doubled home Phillips to extend his team's lead to 2-0.
Dubon blasted a solo home run in the third, upping the gap to 3-0. Round Rock responded with a solo run in the fourth thanks to a Willie Calhoun walk followed by singles from 1B Tommy Joseph , 3B Andy Ibanez and 2B Christian Lopes , the latest of which put the E-Train on the board.
After back-to-back doubles by Calhoun and Jospeh brought Round Rock within 3-2 in the sixth, Colorado Springs dropped four runs in the bottom of the frame to gain a 7-2 advantage. Phillips opened the big inning with a walk, moved to second on a Deolis Guerra wild pitch and stole third. Following a Choi walk, 2B Nate Orf tripled home a pair of runs. LF Tyrone Taylor followed up with a sacrifice fly, then 1B Jacob Nottingham launched a solo homer to cap off the frame.
The Express added two runs in the top of the seventh, thanks to back-to-back singles by SS Hanser Alberto and CF Jose Cardona before a bases-clearing double off the bat of RF Scott Heineman . The E-Train offense couldn't rally any further, sealing the team's fate in the 7-4 defeat.
In game two, Express reliever RHP Nick Gardewine (2-0, 12.46) picked up the win after 1.1 shutout innings of relief. Colorado Springs starter RHP Aaron Brooks (0-1, 5.79) took the loss following a performance in which he allowed three runs on six hits in 3.0 innings.
Round Rock jumped out to a 5-0 lead through the first four innings of play. A flurry of singles by LF Destin Hood , 3B Nick Noonan and Alberto put the E-Train up 1-0 in the second. The hits kept coming in the third as Calhoun tallied a one-out double before back-to-back RBI base hits by Hood and C Cameron Rupp extended the advantage to 3-0.
In the fourth, Alberto singled, then Lopes worked a walk. Consecutive wild pitches by Sky Sox RHP Angel Ventura scored Alberto and moved Lopes to third. A sacrifice fly off the bat of Heineman allowed Lopes to race home, upping the gap to 5-0.
However, Colorado Springs responded with three runs in the bottom of the frame. DH Christian Bethancourt sparked a two-out rally with a double before taking third base on a Tyler Wagner wild pitch. Following a Choi RBI single, Lopes misplayed a grounder to short, resulting in a three-base error that sent Choi home and Orf to third. An ensuing Wagner wild pitch scored Orf to narrow the score to 5-3.
The Sky Sox tacked on one more in the fifth thanks to a pair of two-out hits by Broxton and Dubon. However, E- Gardewine and RHP R.J. Alvarez teamed up for 2.1 scoreless innings of relief to seal the 5-4 win for Round Rock, forcing a split in today's doubleheader. Alvarez recorded his second save of the season with the performance.
Round Rock and Colorado Springs conclude their four-game series on Monday afternoon. Sky Sox RHP Brandon Woodruff (1-0, 1.59) is slated to get the start against an Express pitcher yet to be announced. First pitch at Security Service Field is scheduled for 12:00 p.m CDT.
For more information on the Express, visit RoundRockExpress.com or call (512) 255-2255. Keep up with the Express on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.