The Colorado Springs Sky Sox dropped their first game of the 2017 season, 8-3 in front of 2,971 at Security Service Field Sunday afternoon, winning three games of the opening four-game series with the Omaha Storm Chasers.
Garrett Cooper, the 6-foot-6 first baseman, drove in a pair of runs on a two-run double to right-center field during the three-run third inning to temporarily tie the game and increase his season total to six. The Sky Sox (3-1) got on the board one batter earlier when Ryan Cordell lifted a sacrifice fly to plate Gabriel Noriega, who singled in his first at-bat in his first game of 2017.
Omaha (1-3) jumped out to a 3-0 lead after two innings and then scored five unanswered runs in the middle innings to pull away for good. Whit Merrifield hit his second home run of the season off Hiram Burgos (0-1, 9.82) in the first inning and Jorge Bonifacio cranked a three-run shot in the sixth inning to increase the Sky Sox deficit to five runs.
Luke Farrell (1-0, 5.06) rebounded from the three-run third inning to earn the win and went 5.1 innings, scattering five hits with two walks and two strikeouts. The bullpen trio of Eric Stout, Malcom Culver and Scott Alexander combined to deny the Sky Sox rally over the final 32/3 innings.
After winning their first series of 2017, Colorado Springs heads to the Volunteer State for its first road trip. The Sox begin a four-game series with the Memphis Redbirds starting Tuesday at 6:05 p.m. before heading east on I-40 to take on the Nashville Sounds for three games beginning April 15.