Sky Sox rally for 8-7 walk-off win against Dodgers

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The Sky Sox broke their five-game losing streak in dramatic fashion as they sent 1,505 smiling fans home with an 8-7 walk-off victory over the OKC Dodgers on Wednesday night at Security Service Field.

Coming off the best start of his season, Sox starter Drew Gagnon would not benefit from the same fortune this evening. The right-hander surrendered seven runs (six earned) on 10 hits and a walk while striking out three. Gagnon’s night featured just one scoreless inning with a perfect top of the second.

Dodgers outfielder Darnell Sweeney went 3-for-3 against Gagnon with a double, solo home run and a single in those at-bats while scoring three OKC runs. Chris Heisey also enjoyed success in his three at-bats against the Sox starter, recording three hits and a run score in his first few trips to the plate. Darwin Barney, Corey Seager and Austin Barnes added five combined RBIs to help the Oklahoma City cause as the visiting squad took a 7-1 lead into the sixth inning.

Dodgers lefty Eric Stults held the Sky Sox to just four hits over six strong innings of three-run ball (two earned) while striking out six. The big blow to the OKC starter’s line came courtesy of a mammoth Jason Rogers two-run blast that sailed an estimated 433 feet over the centerfield wall.

Tim Dillard worked three impressive frames in relief of Gagnon, shutting down the Dodgers offense with just two hits allowed while striking out three to give the Sox a late rally chance. Ramon Troncoso gave Oklahoma City a scoreless seventh before taking the mound again in the eighth. The righty would fail to record an out in his second inning of work as he allowed a walk to Donnie Murphy and single to Elian Herrera to leadoff the frame before being pulled in favor of left-hander Ryan Buchter.

Buchter struggled in his lone inning, giving up three base hits and a walk that allowed his inherited runners to score before surrendering two runs of his own. Back-to-back doubles by Kyle Wren and Matt Dominguez did the bulk of the damage for the Sox lineup as they combined for three RBIs to knot the ballgame in dramatic fashion. Buchter eventually worked out of further trouble to send the ballgame into the ninth with the two sides deadlocked at seven.

David Goforth and Austin Ross (1-0, 0.00) each provided Colorado Springs with scoreless frames to send the tie game into the home tenth. Goforth would benefit from a defensive gem to close out the ninth without a Dodgers run scoring as Matt Long caught a Corey Seager fly out in right field foul territory before firing home to nab the speedy Sweeney at home to secure the 7-7 score.

Randy Fontanez (1-1, 1.77) stayed on the mound for the home tenth after tossing a scoreless ninth for the Dodgers. The Sox would not miss their opportunity to end the game. Dominguez led off the 10th with a single before Nevin Ashley’s sac bunt moved the third baseman into scoring position with one out. Yadiel Rivera followed with a base hit to right fielder Kyle Jensen, prompting manager Rick Sweet to send the not-so-fleet-of-foot Dominguez home. Dominguez scored standing up as Jensen’s throw skipped past Barnes, allowing the Sky Sox to send weary fans home happy with a 8-7 walk-off series-opening win.

The Sky Sox improve to 33-51 with the improbable victory as Oklahoma City falls to 53-31.
Colorado Springs looks to ride this high into a second straight win on Thursday night as the Sox face off with these same Dodgers in game two of an extended five-game set. Nick Additon (4-2, 5.75) is set to take the ball against a yet to be determined Oklahoma City starter with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM MDT.

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