Colo. Springs, COLORADO - After a tough skid for the past five games, the Rocky Mountain Vibes bounced back nicely on Wednesday night with a 6-3 victory over the Grand Junction Rockies to even their current series at one game apiece.
The Vibes were the first to score Wednesday night, in the bottom of the first inning. Nick Egnatuk led things off with a walk, before stealing second for his seventh swipe of the season. Two outs later Alex Hall grounded an RBI single to left to score Egnatuk and give the Vibes an early 1-0 advantage.
After a scoreless second, the Vibes offense went back to work in the bottom of the third with another pair of runs. Luis Avila led off with a triple, and Egnatuk immediately brought him in with a sacrifice fly. Jess Williams then followed up with a triple of his own. On the very next pitch Carlos Rodriguez lined an RBI single to score Williams and make it a 3-0 affair.
The Rockies broke up the shutout in the top of the fifth, scoring a pair of runs. Owen Taylor led off with a single for Grand Junction, moving up to second on a Jacob Barnwell single. Bladimir Restituyo followed suit with the Rockies' third single of the inning, scoring both baserunners to cut the deficit to one.
Rocky Mountain responded in the bottom half of the fifth frame to extend their lead. With one out on the board, Williams and Rodriguez hit back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners, and a Grand Junction balk moved Rodriguez to second and brought Williams trotting home to make it 4-2. Rodriguez moved up to third on the Vibes' second out of the inning, scoring on a wild pitch to extend Rocky Mountain's lead to three.
In the bottom of the sixth, despite two quick outs, the Vibes scored yet again. Michael Wilson hit a double on the first pitch of his at-bat, moving up to third on Grand Junction's first error of the night, and scoring on a Grand Junction wild pitch to give the Vibes a 6-2 lead.
In the top of the seventh, the Rockies scored a sole run to make it 6-3.
No more runs would cross the plate, as the Vibes evened this series at 1-1.
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.
Five-Game Skid: The Vibes fell into a five-game skid after a 7-5 loss to Grand Junction Tuesday night in Colorado Springs. During that span, Rocky Mountain has hit for a .240 team average in 170 at-bats including 11 doubles and home runs each. The cast has also driven in 19 runs and struck out 44 times with a slash line of .279/.500.779. On the pitching side, the staff has posteD a 6.37 ERA in 41 innings pitched. The Vibes have yielded 36 runs (29 earned) on 43 hits while setting down 50 batters. The cast hold a WHIP of 1.66 and a .274 BAA.
Birthday Boy: Steve Pastora had his 25th birthday on Tuesday and celebrated with an excellent relief appearance. Pastora 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.
Mile-High Slug Fest: Monday afternoon's contest with the Rockies included 11 home runs highlighted by the Vibes' five homer seventh inning. Three players hit a pair of homers in the game, Cam Devanney and Edwin Sanó for the Vibes and Brenton Doyle for Grand Junction. The Vibes were able to pull within three after the explosive seventh, but fell 13-8 in the shootout.
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: Thursday, September 5 @ 6:40 p.m. MT vs. Grand Junction Rockies @ UCHealth Park
RHP Jared Horn (2-1, 2.79) vs. RHP Braden Webb (0-1, 10.13) - Broadcast: MiLB TuneIn app
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