Redbirds face elimination game on Saturday

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo-The Memphis Redbirds trailed 16-7 heading to the top of the eighth inning before scoring seven times in the eighth and once in the ninth to bring the tying run to the plate, but the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Brewers) held on for a wild 16-15 win in Game 3 of the Pacific Coast League American Conference Championship Series Friday night in Colorado Springs.

The Sky Sox now lead the best-of-five semifinal series, 2-1. The clubs combined for 31 runs and 35 hits in the game. Memphis had 19 hits of its own, one day after mustering two in Game 2 of the series.

The Redbirds led 5-0 after putting up a five-spot in the second, before Colorado Springs scored 10 unanswered runs in the second-through-fifth innings. Memphis responded with two runs in the top of the sixth to make it 10-7, but the Sky Sox scored three in both the sixth and seventh innings and held a 16-7 lead as the game entered the top of the eighth.

Memphis then sent 12 men to the plate in the top of the eighth, scoring seven runs on seven hits, before a flyout ended the inning. Josh Lucas got a strikeout and two groundouts sandwiched around a single to keep the deficit at two runs heading to the top of the ninth. With one out in the ninth, Tyler O’Neill homered to make the score 16-15, but the Sky Sox got a strikeout and a flyout to end the contest.

Aledmys Diaz doubled three times, and Adolis Garcia also had three hits for Memphis. Five players drove in multiple runs, led by Nick Martini’s three RBI. Diaz, O’Neill, Wilfredo Tovar, and Magneuris Sierra also plated two runs apiece. The four-through-eight hitters in the Redbird lineup each scored multiple runs.

After Ryan Helsley was charged for six runs in 4.0 innings, Josh Zeid, Rowan Wick, and Sean Gilmartin bridged the gap before Lucas and allowed 10 runs, seven earned, in 3.0 innings of relief.

The Redbirds were hurt by three errors, five walks, and three wild pitches in the ballgame. Memphis went 11-for-22 with runners in scoring position, and the Sky Sox were 10-for-14.

Memphis’ seven-run eighth was one shy of its season high for runs in an inning, set in the ninth inning at Iowa May 8.

Game 4 of the series is tomorrow night at 5:00 (CT). Should the Redbirds win the series, they would host PCL Championship Series games at AutoZone Park Tuesday and Wednesday, with both games starting at 7:05 p.m. Playoff tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at http://www.memphisredbirds.com/playoffs, over the phone at (901) 721-6000, and at the AutoZone Park Box Office.

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