Colorado Springs, COLORADO - After the Orem Owlz mounted a crushing come-from-behind rally in the ninth inning last night to take game two, the Rocky Mountain Vibes responded by demolishing the Owlz tonight 14-4 to retake a series lead, two games to one.
For the second night in a row the Vibes scored in the first inning, though they only scored one last night, whereas tonight they plated six in the first inning, five of which came before there was an out recorded by Orem. By the time the first ended, the Vibes had already batted around.
Nick Egnatuk opened things up with not just his first homer of 2019, but also the first leadoff home run in Vibes history. Carlos Rodriguez, Joe Gray Jr., and Bryan Torres followed up with back-to-back-to-back singles to load the bases for Cam Devanney, who hit a bases-clearing double to make it 4-0. Nick Kahle followed up with a single to plate Devanney, before José Sibrian flew out for the first out of the inning. Edwin Sanó responded to the out with a single and yet another RBI for the Vibes to make it 6-0 for what would be the last run of the long inning, but not before the Vibes had batted all the way around with Egnatuk striking out to end the inning.
The Owlz reduced the Vibes' lead to just four runs in the top of the third inning, scoring a pair of runs to make it 6-2. D'Shawn Knowles led off with a walk, and Jose Verrier tripled him home for the Owlz' first run of the night. Caleb Scires then grounded out, scoring Verrier easily from third for their second run of the inning.
In the bottom half of the frame, the Vibes scored again to extend their lead back up to five runs. Kahle hit a one-out single, advancing to second on an Orem error. Sano then hit his second RBI single of the night to make it a 7-2 ballgame.
The Rocky Mountain crew went back to work in the bottom of the fifth, really busting the game open with another four runs. Devanney hit a one-out double, Kahle hit a single, and Sibrian singled to score Devanney. Sano, Jess Williams, and Egnatuk all drew walks to force in two runs to make it 10-2, and a sacrifice fly scored Sano to make it an 11-2 affair.
The Vibes refused to take their foot off the gas pedal, scoring three more in the bottom of the sixth. With two outs on the board already, Devanney hit his third double of the night, Kahle walked, and Sibrian doubled to bring both home to make it 13-2. Sano then reached on the Owlz' fourth error of the game, which also allowed Sibrian to score to give the Vibes a dozen-run lead at 14-2.
The Owlz didn't go quietly into the night, scoring two more runs in the ninth inning to make it 14-4, but it was too little too late, with the Vibes taking game three easily.
The Vibes are home for their second-to-last homestand of 2019, set to wrap up tomorrow. The Vibes are hosting the Orem Owlz for a four-game set before the team heads out on their final road trip of the year on 8/26. 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 eight-game homestand with the fourth and final game of a four-game series against the Orem Owlz, with first pitch set for 6:00 p.m. The Owlz are slated to start righty Emilker Guzman (2-5, 5.10) against Vibes right-hander Carlos Luna (2-4, 3.88). The game will be available on MiLB.TV as well as the MiLB TuneIn app.
Kick Things Off Right: In the very first Vibes at-bat against the Orem Owlz on Friday night, Nick Egnatuk belted not just his first homer of 2019, but also the first leadoff home run in Vibes history. The leadoff homer by Nick Egnatuk in the first inning was the first instance a Vibes player hit a leadoff homer, in either top of the first on the road, or bottom of the first at home. The last Triple-A Colorado Springs (Sky Sox) player to hit a leadoff homer was Dylan Moore on August 3rd, 2018 in the top of the first inning at Greater Nevada Field in Reno, off Reno's Matt Koch. The last Triple-A Sky Sox player to hit a leadoff homer in the bottom of the first at Security Service Field (now UCHealth Park) was Nate Orf, on June 15th, 2018, off Las Vegas' P.J. Conlon.
TGINT (Thank God It's Not Thursday): With the Orem Owlz coming from behind in the ninth inning on Thursday night to upset the Vibes, Rocky Mountain fell to a truly dismal 1-6 in Thursday contests this season.
It's Not Over 'til it's Over: With the 3-2 loss to the Ogden Raptors in 10 innings on Monday night, the Vibes fell to 0-3 in extra-inning games this season. On top of that, the Vibes blew a 2-0 lead in the ninth inning against the Orem Owlz Thursday night to lose that game 5-2. Prior to that, the Vibes were 21-1 this season when leading after eight frames, now falling to 21-2.
Rodriguez' Dozen: Since joining the Vibes on 7/25, Carlos Rodriguez has become an offensive mainstay for the team, posting not just one but two four-hit games (8/8 @ BIL & 8/14 @ GTF), becoming the first and only Vibes player with two four-hit games. Coming into this homestand, Rodriguez had an active eight-game hitting streak which tied the longest for any Vibes hitter this season. He extended that to a Vibes-best nine games on Saturday night with a single, to 10 games on Sunday afternoon with a single in the bottom of the eighth inning, to 11 games on Monday night with a single in the seventh, and to twelve games on Wednesday night with a single in the fourth. That streak ended at 12 games when Carlos went 0-for-3 on Thursday night against the Owlz. In those 12 games, Rodriguez had multiple hits in three of them for 19 total hits including a triple, two walks, a stolen base, and six runs. Through his first 20 games, Rodriguez had hits in all but two of them, starting his tenure with the Vibes with a four-game hitting streak, then going 0-for-4 on 7/30, then having a three-game hitting streak before going 0-for-4 on 8/3, before launching into his 12-game hitting streak.
Changing the Game One Tune: With the loss to Great Falls last Monday night in game one of that four-game series, the Vibes fell to a dismal 4-13 record in game one's this season. However, with the walkoff win on Saturday night in game one of the four-game series against the Raptors, the Vibes improved to 5-13 in game ones, and to 6-13 in game one's with the win over Orem Wednesday night.
Lightning Delay: With Tuesday's Vibes game suspended due to lightning, and the game to be resumed on the road in Ogden (likely on Monday), it marks the first time in 22 years where a Colorado Springs team had a home game suspended, and subsequently completed on the road. There were actually two instances where Triple-A Sky Sox games were suspended at home, then completed on the road. On July 23rd, 1995, the Vancouver Canadians had a 1-0 lead over the Sky Sox, when that game was suspended in the top of the 2nd inning due to rain. Since the game the next night on July 24th, 1995 was being nationally televised on ESPN2, and there were no more home games against Vancouver that year, the decision was made to resume that suspended game on August 17th, 1995 at Nat Bailey Stadium in Vancouver, where the Sky Sox won, 4-1. The other instance took place on May 2nd, 1997 when the Las Vegas Stars had a 7-3 lead over the Sky Sox, when the game was suspended in the bottom of the 8th inning at 9:35pm due to a travel curfew. Las Vegas had a 10:55pm flight out of the Colorado Springs Airport that night (quicker check-in procedures back at that time, prior to the advent of TSA at airports in 2001). Since this was the last meeting in Colorado Springs during the first half of that season, the game was resumed at Cashman Field in Las Vegas on May 28th, 1997, where the Stars won, 8-4.
Late Game Struggles: With the 3-2 loss to the Ogden Raptors in 10 innings on Monday night, the Vibes fall to 0-3 in extra-inning games this season.
Goodnight Gray!: Joe Gray Jr. lifted his first homer of the season Saturday night in walk-off fashion, blasting a solo shot to left for the 7-6 Vibes win. The homer marked the first Vibes walk-off homer of the season. With Gray Jr. hitting the first walk-off homer in Vibes history, it marks the first time since the Triple-A era. The last time a Colorado Springs player had a walk-off homer was Nate Orf, who hit a walk-off solo homer in the bottom of the 8th inning on July 16th, 2017, off Iowa pitcher Jack Leathersich, to win game 2 of a DH against the Cubs, 5-4 in 8 innings. The last Colorado Springs walk-off homer in the 9th inning took place on June 18th, 2016, when Will Middlebrooks hit a walk-off grand slam homer in the bottom of the 9th inning, off Omaha's Kevin McCarthy, as the Sky Sox beat the Storm Chasers, 8-5.
Big Audience: Saturday night's crowd of 7,048 is the largest crowd for the Vibes this inaugural season. The crowd is the largest at UCHealth Park since the Triple-A Sky Sox beat the Oklahoma City Dodgers, 8-2 on August 31st, 2018, in front of a crowd of 8,998 at Security Service Field. The 8,998 game on 8/31/2018 was the largest crowd after the 2006 stadium renovation, when the picnic section and banquet facilities were built., and the 5th largest all-time. The largest crowd ever in this stadium (pre-renovation) was 9,505 on July 4th, 2004 against the Omaha Royals.
Penultimate Homestand: The Vibes are currently in the midst of their second-to-last homestand of 2019, set to culminate on 8/24. Their final road trip is set to begin on 8/26 in Ogden and conclude on 9/2 in Grand Junction. The 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.
Vibes vs. Pioneer Northern Review: Last Thursday night's contest against the Great Falls Voyagers marked the final time the Vibes would face a Northern Division opponent in the regular season. The Vibes finished 7-9 against their two opponents, 4-4 against the Billings Mustangs and 3-5 against the Great Falls Voyagers.
This Week's Preview: The Vibes are home for their second-to-last homestand of 2019, set to wrap up tomorrow. The Vibes are hosting the Orem Owlz for four games before the team heads out on their final road trip of the year on 8/26.
NEXT GAME: Saturday, August 24 @ 6:00 p.m. MT vs. Orem Owlz @ UCHealth Park
RHP Emilker Guzman (2-5, 5.10) vs. RHP Carlos Luna (2-4, 3.88) - Broadcast: MiLB TuneIn app
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