The Sky Sox opener in New Orleans delivered a classic pitching duel, but a late-inning Sky Sox rally fell short as Colorado Springs lost to the Zephyrs 1-0.
Left-hander Christian Friedrich started his third consecutive Opening Day for the Sox, delivering his best start to begin the season. Friedrich tossed five innings, scattering four hits, allowing one run, while striking out nine.
Friedrich’s counterpart, Brian Flynn threw six shutout innings, allowing just two hits and one walk, while striking out five batters. Flynn is the reigning ERA king in the Pacific Coast League.
The Zephyrs’ 1-0 lead, obtained via a second-inning homer by Kyle Jensen, remained for much of the game until Colorado Springs left fielder Tim Wheeler led off the eighth inning with a triple. Michael McKenry followed with a sacrifice fly to center field to tie the game.
New Orleans answered in the bottom of the eighth against Sky Sox reliever Manny Corpas (0-1) with a lead-off single by Jensen, followed by a Justin Bour RBI double.
In the ninth, a potential Sky Sox rally began with a Jason Pridie singled to start the inning, but Pridie was picked off at first by Zephyr closer Chris Hatcher. Shortstop Josh Rutledge walked, but hopes of a rally ended when the next two batters struck out.
Zephyr Arquimedes Caminero (1-0) picked up the win with two innings of relief work.
Pacific Coast League to induct Sox owner to HOF
The Pacific Coast League announced Thusday that Sky Sox owner Dave Elmore will be inducted into its Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2014.
Former players Lou Almada, Dave Barbee and Wally Hood will join Elmore, who is just the 11th executive to be inducted into the Hall, which is now comprised of 100 members.
Elmore bought his first franchise in 1981 when it was operating in Honolulu as the Hawaii Islanders. That team was later moved to Colorado Springs in 1988 and was renamed the Sky Sox where they have played ever since. For more on the team name see Side Streets on B1.