Sky Sox win 4-3 over Storm Chasers

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The Sky Sox and Omaha Storm Chasers waited out a 21-minute pregame rain delay in Colorado Springs’ eventual 4-3 win before a Tuesday night crowd of 4,478 at Security Service Field.

With the promotion of trade-deadline acquisition Zach Davies for the first day of September MLB roster expansion, Tim Dillard took the ball in a spot-start for the Sky Sox. The right-hander would allow three first-inning runs on three hits, including a two-run blast by left fielder Rey Fuentes and an RBI knock by catcher J.C. Boscan. Despite the tough frame, Dillard would strike out two batters before working out of the inning with his team trailing by three before their first at-bat.

The side-slinging veteran settled down, shutting down the Omaha offense the rest of the way. Dillard allowed just the three first-inning runs on six total hits and two walks while striking out three over five solid frames, giving his team a significant chance at a comeback win after a precarious beginning.

Storm Chasers right-hander Casey Coleman would keep the Sox offense off balance through five innings of work before departing in the sixth without recording an out. The Omaha starter allowed three consecutive singles to begin the inning with Matt Clark’s RBI base-hit serving as the knock-out blow. Luis Sardinas came around to score the Sox first run on the play to cut their deficit to 3-1 as Colorado Springs now boasted a two on and no out situation in the frame. Omaha manager Brian Poldberg called upon reliever Michael Mariot (4-2, 2.30) to get his team out of the late jam. The right-hander promptly plunked Nevin Ashley to load the bases before Robinzon Diaz went down on a called third strike for the first out of the pivotal inning. Matt Long plated the second run of the frame in the following at-bat with a sac fly to left before Michael Reed capped the Sox scoring with a two-two run single, plating Clark and Ashley to give Colorado Springs their first lead of the night. The book on Coleman would close with Clark’s run as the righty was charged with three earned runs on nine hits, walking none and striking out two over five plus frames of work.

Austin Ross (3-1, 6.60) took over on the mound for the start of the Omaha sixth. The right-hander would allow just two base runners on two free passes over two innings of work while striking out three to earn the win for Colorado Springs. Southpaw Michael Strong tossed a scoreless frame of his own in the seventh the keep Omaha off the board and maintain the Sox slim one-run advantage.

Mariot followed the decisive sixth with two shutout frames in the seventh and eighth respectively to conclude his night. The reliever allowed one run on four hits and a walk while striking out five in his three-inning appearance.

With regular Sox closer Jaye Chapman having worked extensively over the last few games, right-hander Preston Guilmet would take the bump for the Storm Chasers’ last offensive opportunity in the top of the ninth. The veteran reliever secured his first save of the season with a 1-2-3 inning, helping the Sox to their second straight win over Omaha with the 4-3 victory. Colorado Springs improves to 60-77 with the win while dropping the Storm Chasers to 77-61 with just six games left to play in the 2015 PCL season.

The Sox will look to secure a series victory against the defending back-to-back PCL champions on Wednesday in game three of this four-game set. Josh Roenicke (7-10, 5.70) is slated to make the start for Colorado Springs as he faces off with Storm Chasers southpaw Chris Dwyer (2-2, 3.89) with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 PM MDT from Security Service Field.

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