Colo. Springs, COLORADO - The Grand Junction Rockies bested the Rocky Mountain Vibes 7-5 Tuesday for their fourth straight win over the Vibes, also clinching a playoff berth in the process.
The Rockies were the first to score in this final homestand, scoring a single run in the top of the second inning. Colin Simpson led off with a walk for Grand Junction, advancing to second on a groundout. Todd Isaacs singled to move him up to third, and then the Rockies executed a double-steal with Isaacs swiping second and Simpson safe at home for the first run of the game.
In the top of the third inning, the Rockies posted five more runs to go up 6-0.
In the bottom half of the frame, the Vibes responded with two runs of their own to cut the deficit down to four runs. José Sibrian led off for Rocky Mountain with a single, and then recent addition to the Vibes' roster Arbert Cipion hit the first-ever inside-the-park homer by any Vibes player to make it a 6-2 ballgame.
Carrying that thrilling momentum into the next inning, the Vibes scored again in the bottom of the fourth. With one out on the board, Cam Devanney and Bryan Torres hit back-to-back singles. Torres' single caused a Rockies error which in turn allowed Devanney to come all to way home, for a 6-3 affair.
For the third inning in a row, the Vibes scored again in the bottom of the fifth frame. Edwin Sanó led off with a walk, scoring two pitches later on Nick Egnatuk's eighth double of the year to reduce the Rockies' lead to just two runs.
Grand Junction immediately responded in the next half-inning, scoring once in the top of the sixth to make it 7-4.
In the bottom of the seventh, despite two quick strikeouts to start the inning, the Vibes scored again. Gabe Holt hit his first double with the Vibes, coming home on a Carlos Rodriguez single to reduce Grand Junction's advantage to just 7-5.
That score would hold, as the Grand Junction Rockies took game one of this series.
The Vibes are back home for the final five-game homestand of the year against the Rockies to close out the 2019 regular season. 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 final homestand of the year with the second game of a five-game series against the Grand Junction Rockies, with first pitch set for 6:40 p.m. The Rockies are slated to start right-hander Mitchell Kilkenny (2-3, 4.50) against a to-be-determined pitcher for the Vibes. The game will be available on MiLB.TV as well as the MiLB TuneIn app.
Birthday Boy: Steve Pastora had his 25th birthday on Tuesday, and celebrated with an excellent relief appearance. Patora threw 2.1 scoreless, hitless innings, walking two and striking out four Grand Junction batters.
Juuuuust a Bit Inside: The inside-the-park homer by Arbert Cipion Tuesday night was the first-ever inside-the-park homer hit by a Vibes player. During the Triple-A era, the last Sky Sox player to hit an inside-the-park home run was Mauricio Dubon on July 5th, 2017 in Game Two of a doubleheader, a solo homer in the bottom of the 3rd inning, against Nashville's Dalton Sawyer, here at Security Service Field (now UCHealth Park). The Sky Sox won that game, 13-6. Ironically, in Game One of that same doubleheader on July 5th, 2017, Nate Orf hit a two-run inside-the-park homer against Nashville's Corey Walter, also in the bottom of the third inning. The Sky Sox won that game, 10-6. Funny enough, EXACTLY twenty-five years earlier, on September 3rd, 1994, the Sky Sox hit TWO inside-the-park homers here at Sky Sox Stadium (now UCHealth Park) against the Phoenix Firebirds. Stu Cole hit a three-run inside-the-park homer in the bottom of the fifth inning off Phoenix pitcher Dan Carlson, then Chris Gomez hit a two-run, pinch-hit, inside-the-park homer, also off Carlson. However, the Phoenix Firebirds won that game, 15-9.
An Historic Home Run Inning: The back-to-back homers by Cam Devanney and Edwin Sano Monday afternoon, followed by Nick Egnatuk and Gabe Holt homering back-to-back, marks the second and third time this season where Vibes players hit back-to-back homers. The other instance came earlier in the last road trip in Ogden on August 26th, in the third inning by Ernesto Martinez Jr. and Carlos Rodriguez, off Ogden pitcher Alfredo Tavarez. The five home runs hit by the Vibes in the seventh inning surpasses the single-inning record during the Triple-A Sky Sox era (1988-2018). The Triple-A Sky Sox record was four homers in one inning, done three times, all at Security Service Field (now UCHealth Park) in Colorado Springs. The three instances where the Sky Sox had four homers in one inning: June 7th, 2007 in the bottom of the 6th inning against the Tacoma Rainiers, July 26th, 2007 in the bottom of the second inning against the Iowa Cubs, and on May 13th, 2011 in the bottom of the third inning against the Iowa Cubs. The Triple-A era Sky Sox never had a four-homer inning on the road during their 31-year run.
No Playoff Baseball: The loss Monday afternoon to the Grand Junction Rockies eliminated the Vibes from playoff contention. The Vibes needed to win their final six games for an opportunity a wild-card team in the playoffs. The regular season will conclude on September 7 after the completion of a five-game series with the Rockies.
Oh, So Close: The Vibes fell 4-3 Sunday night to Grand Junction, marking the second straight night Rocky Mountain had lost by one. The two losses were almost mirror images of each other. In Saturday night's game, the Rockies jumped out to a four-run lead before the Vibes pulled within one in the sixth. The Vibes weren't able to sneak out the win, falling 5-4. Grand Junction raced to another four-run lead Sunday night with runs in four of the first five frames. Rocky Mountain once again clawed their way back, plating three in the sixth to pull within in one.
Luna's Season-End Honor: Right-hander Carlos Luna was named to the 2019 Pioneer League Season-End All-Stars Sunday night, joining a 16-man crew selected by the league office. Luna has been every bit dominant since the August 6 All-Star Game. The righty has posted a 2.66 ERA in 20 1/3 innings thrown, collecting a 2-1 record in that span. In his four starts, Luna has permitted 18 hits and four walks while allowing just six runs and striking out 28 batters.
This Week's Preview: The Vibes final homestand will run from 9/3-9/7, with all five of those final games being played against the Grand Junction Rockies prior to the 2019 season ending on 9/7.
NEXT GAME: Wednesday, September 4 @ 6:40 p.m. MT vs. Grand Junction Rockies @ UCHealth Park
TBD vs. RHP Mitchell Kilkenny (2-3, 4.50) - Broadcast: MiLB TuneIn app
PROMOTION: Community Ticket Day presented by Academy Mortgage
RMV TOP PERFORMERS
Nick Egnatuk (3-for-5, 2B, RBI)
Arbert Cipion (2-for-4, HR, R, 2 RBI)
Steve Pastora (2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 SO)
GJR TOP PERFORMERS
Todd Isaacs (2-for-4, 2 RBI, SB)
Ronaiker Palma (2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI)
Blair Calvo (2 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 SO)