Colorado Springs, CO – Outfielder Ben Paulsen singled home second baseman DJ LaMahieu to give the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (2-1) the 3-2 win over the Reno Aces (1-2) in 15 innings on Saturday afternoon in front of 3,338 fans. The 15 inning marathon tied the Sky Sox’ record for the longest game ever played at Security Service Field. The last time a game this long occurred in Colorado Springs, was on June 23, 1996, against the then Las Vegas Stars.
The Sky Sox began the scoring in the bottom of the first inning when third baseman Nolan Arenado doubled in Tim Wheeler to make the score 1-0. The double was the fourth extra-base hit in just three games for the young infielder.
Left-hander Drew Pomeranz shut down the aces for 5.2 innings and struck out eight batters, tying his career high for strikeouts in a game at the Triple-A Level. The former number one prospect now has a 2.18 ERA in eight starts at Security Service Field.
In the seventh inning, the Aces finally managed to get on the board. Pitcher Manny Corpas walked the leadoff batter, Brad Snyder, and later allowed him to score on a Tyler Kuhn grounder to first base as Reno tied the game at 1-1.
Sky Sox pitchers retired the next 14 straight batters and the game remained tied until the top of the 15th inning. With one out, Tuffy Gosewisch doubled to right field. The next batter, Evan Frey, laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runner to third base. It looked like the Sox would escape the inning with relief pitcher Garrett Mock having to hit next but the righty got just enough of a Jeff Manship (1-1) delivery to dribble the ball down the third base line and score Gosewisch.
Aces’ pitcher Evan Marshall (0-1) entered in the bottom of the inning to close out the game, but immediately gave up a single to catcher Lars Davis. Ryan Wheeler came in to pinch-hit for Manship, but struck out swinging. Tim Wheeler and LeMahieu followed with two straight singles to load the bases for Corey Dickerson. With an 0-2 count, Dickerson singled home Davis and Wheeler rounded third, but was thrown out at the plate by right fielder Brad Snyder.
With two men on and Arenado at the plate, Marshall threw a wild pitch which advanced the runners and Reno chose to intentionally walk Arenado to load the bases for Ben Paulsen.
Paulsen, who was 0-for-5 prior to the at-bat, broke his streak when he blooped a single to the left to score the winning run.
Both teams will return to the diamond on short rest tomorrow when they take the field at 1:35 p.m. Sky Sox lefty Nick Schmidt will take on Diamondbacks’ highly touted prospect Tyler Skaggs.
Sox Notes: A combined 12 pitchers took the mound for both teams (Aces 7, Sky Sox 5)…Tyler Colvin tripled to lead off the 12th, but Eury De La Rosa got a strikeout, pop out, strikeout to escape the inning…Arenado finished the game 3-for-6 and is now batting .538 on the season.