Colorado Springs, COLORADO - The Rocky Mountain Vibes dropped a close game one to the Orem Owlz Thursday night, 3-1. It marked the Vibes' sixth loss in a row at home, and seventh total dating back to the 19th in Grand Junction.
For the third game in a row, the Vibes allowed a run in the top of the first inning. Jeremiah Jackson drew a one-out walk, with D'Shawn Knowles and David Clawson hitting back to back singles on the next two pitches, plating Jackson to give Orem an early 1-0 lead.
The next two frames were scoreless, but in the top of the fourth the Owlz scored again. Arman Sabouri came into the game at the start of the fourth inning on the mound for the Vibes, on the eve of his 21st birthday. Unfortunately for the soon-to-be birthday celebrator, he issued a walk, followed by a hit by pitch, followed by two more walks to walk in a run and give the Owlz a 2-0 advantage. In the top of the fifth, Sabouri gave up a leadoff double but then proceeded to strike out the next three batters to finish off his night.
Through the first seven innings, it remained a 2-0 ballgame with the Owlz leading with five hits and one error, and the Vibes trailing with only two hits and also one error.
After recording two groundouts to start off the eighth inning, the Vibes gave up singles to Brandon White and Adrian Rondon, before a passed ball let White jog home to extend the Owlz' lead to three runs.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Rocky Mountain broke up the shutout in exciting fashion. Nick Egnatuk started things off with a one-out triple, and on the very next pitch Luis Avalo reached on Orem's second error of the game, allowing Egnatuk to score to make it 3-1. Edwin Sanó kept things moving with a single to put runners on the corners, but with two outs Bryan Torres grounded out to end the inning.
With the Vibes trailing by two and down to their last three outs, Micah Bello and Ernesto Martinez Jr. led off the bottom of the ninth with two singles, with Michael Wilson bunting the runners over to put the tying run on second with one out on the board. However, the next two Vibes batters struck out as the rally fell short, with Orem winning game one 3-1.
The Rocky Mountain Vibes continue their opening homestand against the Orem Owlz tomorrow, with first pitch set 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 continue their 10-game homestand with the second game of a three-game series against the Orem Owlz. Vibes right-hander Nash Walters (0-0, 0.00) is set to start for Rocky Mountain, against Orem righty Emilker Guzman (1-1, 6.23).
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.
First Vibes Ejection: 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.
Opening Weekend Recap: The opening weekend for the Vibes didn't go according to plan. In a three-game series with the Grand Junction Rockies, the Vibes were dealt their first series sweep of the season. The offense cooled off dramatically, hitting just .224 with an on-base percentage of .290 as a unit in the series. As a staff, they compiled an ERA of 6.33 with 31 strikeouts in 27 innings. Their troubles on the mound stemmed from 23 base on balls in the series and a 1.81 staff WHIP.
Fun fact: On Saturday, Miami Marlins (and former Sky Sox) catcher Wilkin Castillo got his first hit and RBI in the majors since June 20th, 2009 (ten years and two days), in the Marlins' 5-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. Back in 2009, while with the Cincinnati Reds, Castillo suffered a season-ending torn right labrum in a game against the Chicago White Sox, and had not made it back to the majors until Saturday. Castillo's long trek back to the Majors included Triple-A stops in Louisville, Gwinnett, Colorado Springs, Indianapolis, Buffalo, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and New Orleans, along with several stints in Double-A, the Mexican League, and independent baseball with the Long Island Ducks. Castillo played in 74 games with the Sky Sox in the 2012 season, under the Rockies affiliation, batting .253, with four HR and 34 RBI.
Leg it Out: Julio Carreras of the GJ Rockies legged out an inside-the-park home run in the very first inning Friday night in the Vibes first-ever home game. The last inside-the-park homer hit here at UCHealth Park was turned by Brian Anderson of the New Orleans Baby Cakes, on August 11th, 2017 in the 10th inning off Sky Sox pitcher Tyler Cravy. New Orleans won 6-4 in 10 innings.
This Week's Preview: The Vibes are back in Colorado Springs to face the Orem Owlz in a three-game series set to wrap on Saturday. After that the Vibes will play a two-game set against the Grand Junction Rockies before heading back out on the road on July 2.
NEXT GAME: Friday, June 28 @ 6:40 p.m. MT vs. Orem Owlz @ UCHealth Park
RHP Emilker Guzman (1-1, 6.23) vs. RHP Nash Walters (0-0, 0.00) - Broadcast: MiLB TuneIn app
PROMOTION: Friday Night Fireworks & Home Runs for Mental Health presented by AspenPointe, Cedar Springs Hospital, and Peak View Behavioral Health