Sky Sox fall 9-4 to Round Rock Express

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Shane Peterson continued to swing a hot bat with a two-run home run in the Sky Sox 9-4 loss to the Round Rock Express before a crowd of 1,413 on a cold Wednesday night at Security Service Field.

Starters John Ely and Luke Jackson pitched extremely well through three innings of work, each giving up just one hit while striking out three in those early frames.

Ely would be the first to bend as he surrendered two runs to the Express in the top half of the fourth. A walk to catcher Tomas Telis and base hit to left fielder Alex Hassan left runners on first and second with no outs. Ely struck out center fielder Jared Hoying swinging on a beautiful tailing changeup before former Padres utility man Kyle Blanks rocketed a line drive off the left field fence, scoring Telis for an RBI double. The very next batter, second baseman Ed Lucas, would ground out to second, allowing Hassan to cross the plate and giving his team a 2-0 lead. Ely would retire first baseman Chris Gimenez on a groundout to third for the final out of the inning.

Ely came out to start the top of the fifth inning and quickly walked leadoff hitter Trever Adams before working a 2-1 count to former Sky Sox Thomas Field. It appeared that catcher Juan Centeno was walking out to the mound to make sure that he and his pitcher were on the same page when manager Rick Sweet and the Sky Sox training staff emerged from the first base dugout. Ely was removed from the game immediately and replaced by right-handed reliever Chris Leroux. After Centeno caught Adams stealing second for the innings first out, Leroux would finish off Field and outfielder Ryan Strausborger with consecutive strikeouts to end any further scoring threats.

The Sky Sox would answer with a two-spot of their own in the bottom of the fifth. A leadoff walk to centerfielder Matt Long put a runner on first with no outs. Elian Herrera was caught looking on a called third strike before Shane Peterson stepped up to the plate. Peterson would not squander the opportunity to get his team on the board, drilling reliever Ryan Rodebaugh’s (1-0, 10.80) offering over the right field wall, knotting the game at two.

The tie game wouldn’t last long as Leroux would give up four earned runs over his next two innings of work. The Express would not look back, tagging lefty reliever Jed Bradley for three more runs in the eighth.

Centeno lead off the home half of the sixth with a triple to the gap in right center field before coming home on a Pete Orr groundout to second base. Matt Long would also triple in the inning before left-hander Alex Claudio settled down to strike out both Herrera and Peterson swinging to end the sixth.

Right-hander Rob Wooten took the mound in the ninth, striking out two batters in the only scoreless pitching appearance of the night for Colorado Springs.

The Sox again showed some life in the bottom of the ninth against lefty Juan Perez, getting off to a strong start with a leadoff double by Peterson. After Matt Clark was set down looking, right fielder Bryan Petersen came through with a clutch RBI single (his third consecutive base hit) to score Peterson, making the score 9-4. Unfortunately the Sky Sox could not find the late inning magic they were hoping for as Perez got Ben Guez to pop out to first before inducing a sharp ground out off the bat of Luis Sardinas to conclude the ballgame.

The series finale set for Thursday morning was postponed at the game’s conclusion and rescheduled as part of a double header on May 17th starting at 1:35 PM MST at Security Service Field. Nick Additon will look to get the Sky Sox back on track against right-hander Arnold Leon as the team hits Nashville to start an eight game road trip on Friday, April 17th with first pitch set for 6:05 PM MST.

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