Colorado Springs, COLORADO - The Grand Junction Rockies took game one of this quick two-game series over the Rocky Mountain Vibes on Sunday afternoon, 3-2. Micah Bello had three hits in the loss, falling just a home run shy of the cycle.
The Vibes scored first in this short two-game series against the Grand Junction Rockies, putting up a run in the bottom of the second inning after a scoreless first. Bello led off the frame with a triple, and with one out on the board Nick Kahle grounded out to score Bello and give the Vibes the first advantage of the day.
Grand Junction answered in the top of the fourth, tying the game at one run apiece. Similar to how the Vibes did it back in the second inning, the Rockies kicked off the fourth with a triple off the bat of Eddy Diaz. One batter later, Christian Koss singled to bring Diaz home and tie the ballgame.
Diaz led off with a hit for Grand Junction again in the top of the sixth, this time reaching on a single. Diaz then stole both second and third for his ninth and tenth steals of the season, before once again scoring on a Koss single to give the Rockies their first lead of the series. Koss also stole second, but was then picked off and caught stealing third for the second out of the inning, right before Colin Simpson hit a solo home run to make it 3-1.
Bello hit a triple in his first at-bat on Sunday afternoon, a double in his second, and a single in his third. His fourth at-bat of the game came in the bottom of the ninth inning, just a homer shy of the cycle, but he was called out on strikes to miss out on what would've been the first cycle in Vibes history, for the first out of the inning. Down to their final two outs, Bryan Torres and Kahle hit back-to-back singles to put two on, with Jess Williams coming into the game to pinch-run for Kahle. Edwin Sanó popped up for the second out of the inning, before Luis Avalo hit a ground-rule double to score Torres and make it a one-run game at 3-2. The rally fell short, however, as Nick Egnatuk struck out for the final out of the game.
The Rocky Mountain Vibes continue their opening homestand as they welcome the Grand Junction Rockies back to town for a two-game series set to wrap tomorrow, with first pitch slated for 6:40 p.m. The game will be available on MiLB.TV as well as on the MiLB TuneIn app. For all information on the Vibes, follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @vibesbaseball and visit the team's website at www.vibesbaseball.com.
Tomorrow's Preview: The Vibes wrap up their 10-game homestand with the second and final game of a two-game series against the Grand Junction Rockies. The Vibes are slated to start right-hander Michele Vassalotti (0-3, 13.94) against Grand Junction southpaw Helcris Olivarez (0-0, 2.25) as both seek to pick up their first win of 2019. First pitch is set for 6:40 p.m.
Cycle Watch: Micah Bello hit a triple in his first at-bat on Sunday afternoon, a double in his second, and a single in his third. His fourth at-bat of the game came in the bottom of the ninth inning, just a homer shy of the cycle, but was called out on strikes to miss out on what would've been the first cycle in Vibes history.
Comeback Kids: Both Friday and Saturday nights victory included come-from-behind wins. On Friday night, the Vibes rallied to score three runs in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game at four before eventually winning on a walk-off double by Antonio Piñero. Saturday night's contest included a four-run inning by the Vibes offense with Piñero at the center of things again. His two-RBI single helped cut the deficit in half. The Vibes took the lead in the seventh on a sharp groundball to third by Piñero to bring home Nick Egnatuk and sealed the victory.
Nash-ty: Vibes' starter Nash Walters has gotten off to a dominant start in the 2019 season. In three starts, including a start against the Orem Owlz Friday night, Walters has maintained a 1.32 ERA in 13 2/3 innings pitched with just seven hits allowed and 16 strikeouts. His .146 batting average against and 1.32 ERA ranks first and second, respectively, in Pioneer League leaders.
It's a Walk-Off!: The Vibes collected the first home victory, first come-from-behind victory, and first walk-off in team history at UCHealth Park on Friday night over the Orem Owlz. After being down 4-1 going into the eighth inning, the Vibes scored three runs in the top of the eighth to tie the game before Antonio Piñero hit a two-out, walk-off double in the bottom of the ninth to deliver a 5-4 victory and the Vibes' first-ever home win at UCHealth Park.
Leading the League: The Vibes issued eight walks in the series opener against Orem on Thursday night, increasing their total on the season to 99, which leads the entire Pioneer League. The staff immediately behind them in the Pioneer League in bases on balls issued is Orem, who issued none on Thursday evening with their total remaining at 73.
Offense on Display: From 1988 to 2018, there were exactly 100 games at UCHealth Park where both teams scored 10 runs or more in a game, with Tuesday night marking #101 and the first of the Vibes era with the 11-10 loss to Ogden.
MONSTER Inning: The last time a Colorado Springs team scored nine runs or more in the bottom of the sixth inning prior to Tuesday night-when the Vibes scored nine runs-was 6/11/2013 when the Sky Sox were playing the Salt Lake Bees and the Sky Sox scored 10 runs in that frame, with the Sky Sox winning that game 15-9.
Vibes Ejections: In the sixth inning Tuesday night, Vibes manager Néstor Corredor was ejected for arguing an out call at home plate, becoming the first member of the Vibes to ever be ejected. In Wednesday's contest versus Ogden, third-base coach Nick Rickles was ejected in the third inning over arguing a fair/foul call down the left-field line.
This Week's Preview: The Vibes finish up their 10-game homestand with a two-game series against the Grand Junction Rockies set to start on Sunday. On July 2nd, the Vibes head out to Grand Junction for the start of a seven-game road trip including a two-game series against the Rockies and a five-game set against the Ogden Raptors.
NEXT GAME: Monday, July 1 @ 6:40 p.m. MT vs. Grand Junction Rockies @ UCHealth Park
LHP Helcris Olivarez (0-0, 2.25) vs. RHP Michele Vassalotti (0-3, 13.94) - Broadcast: MiLB TuneIn app
RMV TOP PERFORMERS
Micah Bello (3-for-4, R, 3B, 2B)
Karsen Lindell (3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, 5 SO)
Luis Avalo (2-for-4, 2 2B, RBI)
GJ TOP PERFORMERS
Eddy Diaz (2-for-4, 3B, 2 R, 2 SB)
Christian Koss (3-for-4, 2 RBI, SB)
Anderson Pilar (W, 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, SO)