July 13, 2013 Updated: July 13, 2013 at 11:15 pm
Saturday night proved two things: a large lead is never secure in the Pacific Coast League and the Sky Sox do not quit.
Colorado Springs scored five runs in the eighth, all with two outs, to mount a rally in an 12-10 loss to Salt Lake.
The Sky Sox trailed 12-3.
Corey Dickerson blasted a three-run triple against reliever Josh Judy to trim the Salt Lake lead to 12-10 entering the ninth.
In the final inning, Xavier Nady legged out a leadoff double off Chad Cordero, who gave way to Daniel Stange with one out. Stange closed the game with two strikeouts.
"We all play hard until the final out," Dickerson said. "The guys all put together good at-bats to give us a chance."
Salt Lake teed off on Sky Sox starter Aaron Cook (0-5) for nine runs, eight earned, off 12 hits (two homers, two doubles) for a 9-1 lead against the Sky Sox (50-45).
But the Bees bullpen almost failed their starter Matt Shoemaker, who threw 101 pitches (62 strikes) in six innings with one walk, six strikeouts and four runs, all earned.
Reliever Buddy Boshers left after he loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth. That brought in Judy, who did not record an out. Cordero got a groundout to end the inning.
In contrast, Sky Sox relievers Nick Schmidt and Logan Kensing combined for 1-2-3 innings in the eighth and ninth. "The position guys tip our hats to those guys because they gave us a chance to win it," Dickerson said.
RBI hits for Charlie Culberson and Reid Brignac trimmed the Bees' lead to 9-3 to keep the 7,239 rain-soaked fans engaged, though the used car giveaway had more to do with that until the eighth.
ESPN commentator Dick Vitale threw out the ceremonial first pitch in between speeches at a convention at The Broadmoor Hotel. "I am a baseball nut so when (Sky Sox president) Tony (Ensor) asked me to throw the first pitch I had to come," the Rays season ticket-holder said.