Clark Propels Sky Sox in 16-4 Pummeling Of Omaha
Colorado Springs’ Offense Busts Out for 21 Hits to Back Solid Jungmann
The Sky Sox had plenty of offensive explosions of their own on Friday night as a 16-4 thrashing of the visiting Omaha Storm Chasers in front of 6,093 lively fans lead to an astonishing fireworks display on Air Force appreciation night at Security Service Field.
The Colorado Springs offense would score early and often against Omaha pitching, accumulating 21 total base hits en route to their 16 runs scored.
On his way back to Kansas City during his current minor league rehab assignment, Storm Chasers starter and standout Royals reliever Luke Hochevar would struggle mightily in his 1.2 innings of work. The imposing right-hander would allow seven runs on seven hits, a walk and two wild pitches while striking out four before being removed from the game with two out in the home second.
Luis Sardinas opened the scoring in the home first, scoring Pete Orr on a RBI single to right field. The base hit would be one four on the night for the hot-hitting shortstop. Matt Clark would follow with the first blast of the night, swatting a two-run home run over the right centerfield fence to score Sardinas and give his team a quick 3-0 lead. The ball travelled an estimated 461 feet and established a new season-high at Security Service Field.
The Sky Sox showed no signs of slowing down in the bottom of the second as the team tacked on four more runs on the strength of doubles by Nevin Ashley, Donnie Murphy and Sardinas and singles by Orr and Shane Peterson. None of the hits were cheap as Hochevar was seemingly unable to fool anyone on the brisk evening.
Sox starter Taylor Jungmann (1-1, 8.74) worked his most effective outing yet on Friday night, tossing six innings of three-run ball on four hits and three walks while striking out four. The 2011 first-rounder earned his first win of the 2015 season and his first in a Sky Sox uniform. His ability to keep the ball on the ground helped him keep Omaha from a big inning as his steady mix of crisp fastballs and baffling curveballs showed signs of good things to come.
Former big-leaguer and 2008 World Series Champion Joe Blanton would come on in the third inning for Omaha, tossing a scoreless inning to keep the score at 7-0 through three. Blanton’s luck would quickly run out however as he surrendered four runs in the fourth on six hits with the inning’s big blow coming on a Ben Guez two-run shot to left field. The round-tripper was Guez’s second in as many days. Matt Clark added to Blanton’s woes with his second home run of the game in the fifth inning, giving him four RBI on the game. Blanton would finish his day after four innings of work, allowing five runs on eight hits while striking out three.
Already holding a 12-3 lead, the Sky Sox offense would pile on four more runs on Storm Chasers pitching in the bottom of the seventh on five singles and two walks. Matt Long’s two-out single gave each Sox starter at least one base hit in the ballgame and extended his streak of consecutive games of reaching base safely to an impressive 21.
Seven of the nine starters in the Colorado Springs lineup recorded multi-hit games with five of those hitters notching multi-RBI games. Clark, Sardinas and Guez represented the game’s hitting heroes as Clark and Sardinas each collected four hits and four runs scored while Guez tallied three RBI and reached base three times. Sardinas’ big game was made all the more momentous by a feat not matched by any Sky Sox in nearly 20 years. With two stolen bases already under his belt, the infielder would swipe two more in the fourth inning giving him four on the night. The last Sky Sox player to record four stolen bases in a game was Jeff Husom on August 30th, 1996 against Albuquerque in Colorado Springs.
Chris Leroux, Tim Dillard and Corey Knebel would finish off the Omaha offense, combining for three innings of one-run ball en route to the Sox eventual 16-4 blowout victory.
The win pushes Colorado Springs to a 7-14 record as the team looks to keep up the momentum in game three of the four-game set on Saturday night. Right-hander Tyler Thornburg (0-0, 0.00) faces off with Omaha starter Clayton Mortensen (2-1, 5.52) with first pitch set for 6:05 PM MDT at Security Service Field.