April 12, 2014 Updated: April 12, 2014 at 8:21 pm
There would be no comeback this time.
Less than 24 hours after a dramatic walk-off 11th-inning win in the home opener, the Colorado Springs bullpen faltered and visiting Round Rock held on for a 16-12 victory Saturday afternoon.
Six straight singles off Sky Sox reliever Chris Martin snapped an 11-11 tie in the top of the ninth inning Saturday and propelled the Express to the win.
Still, this is the Pacific Coast League, where no lead is safe.
To the Sky Sox's credit, they battled all game and forged an eighth-inning tie after falling behind 11-5. They completed a seven-run rally late Friday and played like the team that played with a no-quit attitude last season.
"We have a lot of hard-nosed guys in the clubhouse that don't give up," left fielder Tim Wheeler said. "We are not going to waste any at-bats."
Wheeler certainly did not. He energized the Security Service Field crowd of 4,297 fans when he hit an inside-the-park home run to open the eighth and tie the Pacific Coast League game at 11-11.
The ball hit the middle of the right field fence and Round Rock right fielder Brad Snyder fell as he attempted the diving catch.
"I hit it pretty good and was looking like everyone else as I rounded first," he said. "When I saw it go off the wall, I knew I had a chance at extras but it was G (manager Glenallen Hill) who waved me around."
It was the first inside-the-park home run for the Sky Sox in almost five years (Eric Young Jr., Aug. 23, 2009).
The Wheeler run came only a few minutes after shortstop Drew Garcia, Friday night's walk-off hero, made a superb defensive play. He dove to his right and threw out Chris Gimenez from his knees before he reached first base to end the top of the eighth inning..
Kyle Parker, who recorded a team-high four RBIs, gave the home fans hope when he recorded a solo home run, the fifth dinger of the contest and ninth in two home games, to start the bottom of the ninth. That made it 16-12 before Express reliever Lisalverto Bonilla recovered to log the final three outs.
Both team's starters struggled early, allowing 21 hits and 15 runs, 14 earned, through five innings. The pitching staffs allowed 38 hits, 11 for extra bases, by game's end.
Each team had a couple of big innings with Colorado Springs scoring five in the seventh to offset a five-run fourth for the Express that pushed the visitors to an 11-5 lead.
Denver Broncos legend John Elway was in attendance, sitting near the Round Rock dugout. Elway, who was unavailable for an interview, was a Stanford baseball teammate and roommate of Express manager Steve Buechele. . It was the first time both teams scored 10 runs or more each since April 16-17, 2005, both Sky Sox losses at Las Vegas. The last time at home was the week before, April 8-9, against those same 51s in a Colorado Springs sweep.