Grand Junction, COLORADO – The Rocky Mountain Vibes won their fourth straight game after dropping the first game of the season to improve to 4-1, defeating their cross-state rival Grand Junction Rockies 7-5 in the first-ever matchup between the two Colorado squads. Grand Junction allowed six errors in the contest, but the Vibes sole error in the eighth inning allowed three runs to score and nearly cost them the game.
After an explosive series finale in Orem last night, the Vibes started their two-game series against the Rockies in Grand Junction on a quieter note. The first two innings of the contest proved to be scoreless, with the Vibes collecting no hits and the Rockies collecting just one. In the top of the third frame, with two outs already on the board, Antonio Piñero drew a four-pitch walk before stealing second for his first steal of the season to move himself into scoring position. Joe Gray Jr. then singled for the Vibes first hit, first run, and first RBI of the night as Piñero scored from second to make it a 1-0 game.
In the top of the fourth, Bryan Torres hit a double on the first pitch of his at-bat, and then stole third for his third steal of 2019. Now only 90 feet from home, a Nick Egnatuk single was enough for Torres to trot home to double the Vibes lead at 2-0.
The Vibes broke things open in the fifth inning, scoring for the third frame in a row. Edwin Sanó led off with a single, Michael Wilson walked, and Piñero singled to load the bases. With one out, a Grand Junction passed ball allowed everyone to move up 90 feet as Sanó crossed the plate for the Vibes third run. Micah Bello then reached on a Rockies fielding error that also allowed Wilson to score to let Rocky Mountain go up 4-0. Another passed ball by the Rockies allowed Piñero to score for run number five, and yet another Grand Junction error sent Bello across the plate as well to make it a 6-0 affair.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Rockies finally broke up the shutout. Owen Taylor hit a solo homer over the right field wall—his second of the year—to make it 6-1.
In the very next half-inning the Vibes scored once more on a solo homer of their own. Luis Avalo belted his first longball of the season over the right field fence, not far from where Taylor had hit his the inning prior, to extend the Rocky Mountain lead to 7-1.
The Rockies would not go quietly, however, as Eddy Diaz doubled on the first pitch of the bottom of the eighth. With one away, Brenton Doyle drew a walk to put two on, and one out later Ronaiker Palma lined a single to score Diaz to make it a five-run game with runners on the corners. Walking Cabrera then worked a full count into a walk to load the bases, which prompted Vibes manager Néstor Corredor to bring southpaw José Alberro into the game for his third appearance of the season. Alberro almost worked out of the jam, but a Torres throwing error cleared the bases to bring all three Grand Junction baserunners home safe to make it a 7-5 affair.
After the Vibes went three up and three down in the top of the final frame, in the bottom of the ninth Arman Sabouri allowed a pair of baserunners to reach, representing the tying runs. Sabouri was able to work out of it however, collecting his first save of the season to complete the Vibes fourth straight victory.
The Rocky Mountain Vibes are back in Colorado to face the Grand Junction Rockies in a two-game series set to wrap on Wednesday at 6:40 p.m. MT.