Sox Fox photo by Jon Adams
In an amazingly intense game, the Colorado Springs Sky Sox lost to the Portland Beavers 6 to 5 Thursday night. It was a surprising score considering the game started as a pitching duel but ended as a hit parade.
Neither team scored until the fifth inning as the Beaver’s struck first, scoring one run in the fifth and then adding two more in the sixth. The Sky Sox came right back with a homer by Paul McAnulty in the seventh inning, but the real excitement came later.
The real thrill came in the bottom of the eighth as the Sox began their march for the lead. It all started with a double that should have been a triple by pitcher Alan Johnson. (As Johnson rounded second he fell, then had to dive back into second base before the throw came in.) After that, Johnson went to third on a fly ball by Mike McCoy. With one out now, Beaver’s pitcher Cesar Carrillo threw a wild pitch that allowed Johnson to score from third. While we were still cheering, Chris Frey singled to center, and the next batter, Matt Miller walked. So with runners on first and second Matt Murton singled to right which scored Frey. Then McAnulty came through again with a sac fly to score Miller, and Murton later stole second base. Although Sox fans seemed to go hoarse from the excitement, Sal Fasano singled and scored Murton making the score 5 to 4 Sox as the next batter grounded out ending the four run inning.
But in the end, the Beaver’s scored two more runs in the top of the ninth, as all of the life in the Sky Sox seemed to fade. The Sox couldn’t keep their bats going in the bottom of the ninth to reclaim the lead they desperately needed.
Unfortunately, this was a game the Sky Sox really needed to win, but the Sky Sox still have the division lead over Tacoma by two games. The Sox go into Tacoma this weekend for a four games series. One way or another, these four games will be the last of the season for one of these two teams and will decide which team will go to the playoffs and which will go home.