ROUND ROCK EXPRESS

Two rallies come up short as Express fall to Sky Sox

Round Rock has lost two straight games to Colorado Springs after going on a seven game winning streak

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The Express dropped their second straight game Saturday night, falling to the Colorado Springs Sky Sox 6-4 in 10 innings. 

Round Rock fought back to tie the game twice, including an RBI double by Scott Heineman with one out in the bottom of the ninth. But Colorado Springs scored a pair of runs in the 10th to take the second of the five-game series. The Express outhit the Sky Sox 15-8. 

“Some nights you roll out a few hits and some nights you don’t,” Express catcher Tony Sanchez said. “This game tonight could’ve gone either way. That’s just how the game goes. We just happened to find a few hits and we found some late in the game against their bullpen.”

Heineman finished with three hits and drove and scored a run. Hanser Alberto scored once and drove in a run, Hunter Cole and Andy Ibanez each had two hits and Sanchez finished with one RBI. 

Tyler Wagner (0-3, 4.28) allowed two runs on three hits with four walks and one strikeout in his first start in Round Rock since May 28. Tayler Scott (3-3, 4.28 ERA) took the loss, giving up two runs and two hits in 1.1 innings.  

“(Wagner) thew the ball well and it was impressive that he did it with two pitches,” Sanchez said. “He located the ball in for righties and showed some lefties in when he needed to. He pitched into the sixth inning and that’s all you can as from a guy like that.”

The Express have dropped their last two games after going on a seven-game winning streak and fall to 37-44 on the season. They are more than 10 games behind the division-leading Memphis Redbirds in the PCL American South. 

Colorado Springs loaded the bases in the first inning, but Wagner was able to get out of the jam unharmed. 

After powering most of the offense in the first game of the series on Friday night, Heineman and Ibanez stayed hot, hitting back-to-back doubles to give the Express a 1-0 lead. 

Colorado Springs catcher Jacob Nottingham blasted a two-run home run to give the Sky Sox a 2-1 lead in the fourth, but Round Rock responded quickly and retook the lead thanks to RBI hits from Tony Sanchez and Hanser Alberto in the bottom half of the inning. 

Sky Sox outfielder Tyrone Taylor smacked a single to right field in the seventh inning and Colorado Springs took a 4-3 lead. 

Heineman doubled to left field and Alberto came around to score in the ninth, but a wild pitch from Scott and an RBI single by Colorado Springs’ Nottingham in the 10th sealed the deal for the Sky Sox. 

“We picked a guy off in the 10th and that’s a huge play, but Brett Phillips is a big league hitter,” Sanchez said. “We needed to make the pitches and they ended up scoring a couple runs and that’s on us for not executing.”

Round Rock and Colorado Springs continue their five-game series Sunday at 6:05 p.m. and close things out with games on Monday and Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. The Express then head to Oklahoma City for five games, the last series before the All-Star break. 

“We’re hitting our stride 85 games in, but better late than never,” Sanchez said. “Pitchers are throwing the ball well and starters are going deeper in games. Guys are starting to drive in runs. We’re playing the game really well right now.” 

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Email: sports@hillcountrynews.com

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