Colo. Springs, COLORADO - In what has been a week of firsts (first doubleheader and first grand slam in team history last night), the Rocky Mountain Vibes continued the positive trend with the completion of the first-ever series sweep in Vibes history with a win over the Orem Owlz Wednesday night. After taking both games of yesterday's doubleheader, the Vibes were victorious again tonight with an impressive 10-2 win over Orem.
For the third game in a row, it was the Orem Owlz who scored first. With two outs in the top of the second, Morgan McCullough drew a walk, scoring on Johan Sala's sixth double of the season to give Orem the first lead of the contest.
The Vibes responded in the bottom half of the frame, scoring two to take Rocky Mountain's first lead of the night. Nick Kahle and Jess Williams led off with back-to-back walks, before Micah Bello hit an RBI double to score Kahle and move Williams up to third. Jose Sibrian then hit a sacrifice fly deep enough to plate Williams and make it a 2-1 ballgame.
After two scoreless frames, Orem tied things up in the top of the fifth inning. Brandon White and Anthony Mulrine hit back-to-back singles, and a wild pitch allowed White to score to tie the game at 2-2.
Once again the Vibes wasted no time in responding, scoring a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth. Sibrian and Nick Egnatuk both reached on singles, moving up on a Luis Avila sacrifice bunt for the first out of the inning. Cam Devanney then singled both home to give the Vibes a two-run lead.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Vibes tacked on some insurance runs. Carlos Rodriguez led off with a single and Devanney walked to put two on for Bryan Torres. Torres lined an RBI single to right to score Rodriguez, but a costly Orem error allowed both Devanney and Torres to score to make it 7-2. Kahle lined out for the first out of the inning, before Williams doubled, and Bello reached on another Owlz error to load the bases. Sibrian came through with a single to plate Williams and make it a six-run affair, Egnatuk walked, and Rodriguez drove in two more to make it 10-2, which would prove to be the final as the Vibes finished the sweep cleanly.
The Rocky Mountain Vibes continue their seven-game homestand tomorrow with the first of a four-game series against the Ogden Raptors, with first pitch set for 6:40 p.m. The game will be available on MiLB.TV as well as 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 seven-game homestand with the first of a four-game series against the Ogden Raptors, with first pitch set for 6:40 p.m. The Raptors are slated to start righty Alfredo Tavarez (1-2, 3.25) against Vibes right-hander Karsen Lindell (1-0, 4.15). The game will be available on MiLB.TV as well as the MiLB TuneIn app.
Colorado Springs Alums on the Block: While there were flashier trades in MLB involving big names like Zach Greinke or Trevor Bauer, there were a couple of MLB trades in the last few days involving former Sky Sox players. On Wednesday 7/31, the Milwaukee Brewers acquired pitchers Drew Pomeranz and Ray Black from the San Francisco Giants for San Antonio Missions infielder Mauricio Dubon . Pomeranz pitched in 24 games with the Sky Sox (2012-2013), going 12-5, with a 3.60 ERA. Dubon played 85 games over the last two seasons with the Sky Sox (2017-2018), going .295 with 10 homers, and 51 RBI. On Wednesday 7/31, the San Francisco Giants acquired infielder Scooter Gennett from the Cincinnati Reds for a player to be named later. Gennett only played in 17 games with the Sky Sox in 2015, batting .307 with two homers and 11 RBI. On Wednesday 7/31, the Philadelphia Phillies acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson from the Pittsburgh Pirates for a player to be named to be named later and international bonus pool money. Dickerson played in 78 games with the Sky Sox (2013-2014), batting .372 with 11 homers and 51 RBI. On Tuesday 7/30, the Atlanta Braves acquired pitcher Chris Martin from the Texas Rangers for LHP Kobly Allard. Martin pitched in 25 games in relief for the Sky Sox on 2014, going 1-3 with a 4.39 ERA in 26⅔ IP. On Monday 7/29, the Milwaukee Brewers acquired pitcher Jordan Lyles from the Pittsburgh Pirates for RHP Cody Ponce. Lyles did make one rehab appearance with the Sky Sox on July 30th, 2014, pitching 4⅔ IP in relief, picking up the win, allowing no runs and three hits, as the Sky Sox beat the Nashville Sounds, 6-0 at Security Service Field (now UCHealth Park). Ponce did not appear with the Sky Sox, pitching at Double-A Biloxi this season. On Sunday 7/28, the Tampa Bay Rays acquired infielder Eric Sogard from the Toronto Blue Jays for two players to be named later. Sogard played in 51 games with the Sky Sox (2017-2018) with three homers and 28 RBI.
Jess of All Trades: In both games of Tuesday's doubleheader, Jess Williams played first base for the second and third times this season. Through Tuesday, Williams had played three games at first base, four games at second, six games at third, six games at left, 10 games in right field, three games as the Designated Hitter, and even two pitching appearances.
Kahle is Good for You: In the bottom of the third inning of Game Two of Tuesday night's doubleheader, Nick Kahle hit the first grand slam in Vibes history, sending the Vibes from a 3-0 deficit to a 4-3 lead in the process.
For the First Time…Let's Play Two: After a rainout Monday night, the Rocky Mountain Vibes played host to the Orem Owlz Tuesday night for the first doubleheader (two 7-inning games) in team history. The Vibes won Game One 7-6, coming from behind to score four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to tie the game, and then walking the game off in the bottom of the seventh to take game one of both the series and the twin bill. In Game Two, the Vibes fell behind 3-0, took a 4-3 lead on the Vibes' first-ever grand slam, fell into a 4-4 tie, and then scored two late runs in the sixth to win Game Two 6-4 and complete the doubleheader sweep over Orem.
First Half Recap: The Rocky Mountain Vibes completed the first half of the 2019 season last Thursday night in Grand Junction, posting a 17-21 record through 38 games.
The Vibes finished June with a 6-9 record, going 2-7 at home and 4-2 on the road in the inaugural month of the 2019 season. The team batted .251 in those 15 games while collecting 86 runs on 132 hits with 32 doubles, eight triples, 11 home runs, 75 RBI, 48 walks, 142 strikeouts, 17 stolen bases (11 caught stealing), and a .323/.405/.727 line. On the pitching side, the Vibes staff posted a 5.89 ERA through 133 innings with four saves in six opportunities, allowing 108 runs (87 earned) on 126 hits, 23 of which were homers, giving up a league-leading 108 walks while striking out 152 batters.
Through July 25 (end of first half), the Vibes sat at an 11-12 record in July with a 6-8 road record and 5-5 at home. The team sat at a .243 batting average in 23 games, collecting 186 hits, 50 doubles, three triples, 13 home runs, and 84 RBI. The Vibes offense has also stolen 26 bags in 33 attempts, drawn 62 walks, and posted a .307/.372/.679 line. The pitching staff had seen vast improvements in July. The team sat at a 4.62 ERA in 200 1/3 innings, allowing 184 hits, 117 runs (103 earned), issuing 88 walks, 221 strikeouts, and team WHIP of 1.35.
Walk-Off Losses: During the last nine-game road trip, the Vibes fell twice in extra innings. The first loss came in Orem on 7/23 in an 8-7 loss. The Vibes regained the lead in the top of the ninth with two runs before allowing a run in the bottom half. They would be walked-off on a Johan Sala single to right, plating D'Shawn Knowles. The second loss came on Saturday night in a 10-9 heartbreaker. The Vibes allowed four runs in the ninth before Brenton Doyles' chopper up the 3rd base line plated the winning run.
Tulo's Time in Colorado Springs: Former Colorado Rockies and Colorado Springs Sky Sox shortstop Troy Tulowitzki announced his retirement a few days ago after 13 seasons in the majors (.290 career batting average, 225 HR, 780 RBI). The #7 overall pick in the 2005 MLB Draft, Tulowitzki jumped to the Majors from Double-A Tulsa in 2006. Tulowitzki did play for the Sky Sox, albeit only a handful of games, primarily from rehab assignments. Tulowitzki made cameos for the Sky Sox over four seasons (2008, 2010, 2012, and 2013), appearing in only 12 games in a Sky Sox uniform. During that brief stint, Tulowitzki batted .424 (14-for-33), with two homers and 5 RBI with the Sky Sox.
Comparing Notes: Here is a running comparison of records of other first-year Colorado Springs teams from the past in order to see historically how new teams have struggled with adapting to the home altitude during their first season. After 43 games: 2019 Vibes 20-23, 1901 Millionaires (first season) 19-24, finishing 45-73-1; 1950 Sky Sox (first Single-A season) 16-27, finishing 72-82-2; 1988 Sky Sox (first Triple-A season) 19-24, finishing 62-77; 1993 Sky Sox (first Rockies season) 22-21, finishing 66-75; 2015 Sky Sox (first Brewers season) 16-27, finishing 62-81.
This Week's Preview: The Vibes are back in Colorado Springs for a seven-game homestand. The Vibes will finish the seven-game homestand with a four-game series against the Ogden Raptors set to wrap on August 4. Following that series, the team will have three days off for the All-Star Break before heading out on the road to Montana for a four-game series against the Billings Mustangs followed by a four-game series against the Great Falls Voyagers.
NEXT GAME: Thursday, August 1 @ 6:40 p.m. MT vs. Ogden Raptors @ UCHealth Park
RHP Alfredo Tavarez (1-2, 3.25) vs. RHP Karsen Lindell (1-0, 4.15) - Broadcast: MiLB TuneIn app
PROMOTION: Military Appreciation Night presented by CSU-Pueblo, $3 Thirsty Thursday featuring Odells Colorado Lager