Colorado Springs starter Chris Volstad got into a rhythm and the Sky Sox defense came up with three big double plays to down Tacoma 4-1 Tuesday night.
The first two double plays ended Rainier scoring threats in the second and seventh innings and the final, a line drive grab by first baseman Ben Paulsen that he completed by stepping back on the bag for a force out, recorded the first two outs of the ninth to the delight of 6,087 fans at Security Service Field.
The first held the Rainiers (43-40) to a 1-0 lead after an RBI for first baseman Rich Poythress.
"The double plays were huge," Sky Sox manager Glenallen Hill said. "I know for a fact that when you play against that team you have to take advantage of opportunities to get two outs with one ball."
Volstad pitched a strong 6 ? innings, allowed four hits and thanks to the defense, which also made two running catches in the outfield, rolled.
"I was able to just focus on one pitch at a time," Volstad said. "I just kept it simple."
The first two double plays enabled the Sky Sox to eventually go ahead 2-1, breaking through against Tacoma starter Erasmo Ramirez in the fifth inning after a leadoff triple by Charlie Culberson; the team's 46th this season.
Colorado Springs (39-31) tied the game 1-1 when Hernan Iribarren's sacrifice bunt led to an error by Ramirez as he threw to the plate for a force out on Culberson who was running home.
The ball bounced past catcher Brandon Bantz and allowed Iribarren to advance to second. He would later score to make it 2-1 when Lars Davis hit a blooper along the left-field line. That run ended Ramirez's no-earned-runs streak at 19 ? innings.
Colorado Springs pulled away when Sky Sox designated hitter Matt McBride collected his 45th RBI for a 3-1 lead in the sixth after a wild pickoff attempt by Ramirez allowed Corey Dickerson (walk) to move into scoring position. McBride was driven home by Charlie Culberson (single) to make it 4-1.
Sky Sox right-handed pitcher Cory Riordan (4-1, 5.18 ERA) is scheduled to start Wednesday's matinee against righty Brandon Maurer (1-1, 1.53). . The name of this Saturday's 7:05 p.m. Waldo Canyon Classic celebrity softball game was changed to the Heroes Classic. The Sky Sox announced that $5 will be donated to the Pikes Peak Community Foundation to assist Black Forest fire victims for each $10-$30 ticket sold. Anyone who lost their home in the recent fire or is still evacuated may attend for free.