The Colorado Springs Sky Sox came from behind to earn a 10-9 walk-off win over the Memphis Redbirds in the first game of their doubleheader, but the Redbirds scored early and often to defeat the Sky Sox 16-4 in the second game on Wednesday at Security Service Field.
In the first game, the Redbirds tallied a pair of early runs against Sky Sox starter Josh Hader (0-2, 6.00) in the first inning. But Andy Wilkins leveled the score in the bottom half with his team-leading 10th home run, a two-run blast to left that tied the game at two.
Memphis regained the lead with four in the second, but again the Sky Sox were quick to answer against starter Deck McGuire (6-6, 4.23).
In the third, Orlando Arcia hit his fifth home run of the season, a two-run shot to left to get the Sky Sox closer. Kyle Wren cut the deficit to just a run in the fourth with a run-scoring single.
After the teams traded runs, the Redbirds turned to Sam Tuivailala to try and get the save with his team leading 7-4 in the seventh. Wilkins and Will Middlebrooks each hit doubles with one out to get the Sky Sox a run closer. Then Eric Young Jr. was hit by a pitch with two outs. After Young Jr. stole second, the Sky Sox had the tying runs in scoring position for catcher Rene Garcia with two outs.
The new Sky Sox catcher delivered, lining a two-run double to left-center to score Wilkins and Middlebrooks with the tying runs, forcing the game to extra innings.
Closer Damien Magnifico (4-5, 3.24) came in for Colorado Springs in the eighth and pitched two scoreless frames to keep the Sky Sox tied with the Redbirds.
In the bottom of the ninth, Middlebrooks led off with a single off reliever John Brebbia. After Nate Orf bunted him to second, Young Jr. singled to put runners on the corners with one out. Again, Garcia stepped up to the plate with a chance to be the hero.
Again, he delivered as he laid down a perfect bunt for an infield hit that scored Middlebrooks with the winning run to give the Sky Sox a thrilling walk-off win in game one.
The win was the Sky Sox's league-leading 12th win of the season when trailing after six innings.
In game one, MIddlebrooks and Garcia each tallied four hits, while Young Jr. and Wren each scored twice. Magnifico earned his fourth win of the season for his strong relief work.
In game two, Tim Dillard (4-1, 7.11) struggled early as the Redbirds jumped out to an early lead and never looked back as they beat the Sky Sox 16-4. Arcia hit a three-run home run in the fourth, his sixth of the season, as the Redbirds earned a split of the twin bill.
The Sky Sox and Redbirds will play another doubleheader beginning Thursday night at 5:05 p.m. at Security Service Field. Jorge Lopez (1-5, 5.56) is set to start the first game for the Sky Sox while Brent Suter (1-4, 4.70) is scheduled to start game two.