Colorado Springs, COLORADO - "It's not over 'til it's over" is a timeless baseball adage for a reason.
After playing a great game and leading 2-0 going into the ninth, the Rocky Mountain Vibes suffered a disastrous ninth inning comeback by the Orem Owlz to lose 5-2, evening the series at one game apiece.
After scoring over a dozen runs last night in game one of this series, the Vibes offense kept the ball rolling tonight, scoring in the first frame. Carlos Rodriguez walked to become the first baserunner of the evening, then stole second to move into scoring position. Bryan Torres then hit an RBI single to score Rodriguez, before stealing second base as well for his 16th steal this season. Cam Devanney then drew a walk to put two on for Michael Wilson, who struck out to end the inning.
After a quick and quiet next two innings, Devanney drew his second walk of the night with one out in the bottom of the fourth. Devanney then stole second, coming home on a Jess Williams single to give the Vibes a 2-0 advantage.
Vibes starter Karsen Lindell exited the game after three and two-thirds strong innings, allowing no runs and just two hits with one walk and an impressive seven strikeouts.
Conversely, Orem starter Matt Leon also pitched well, coming out of the game after five good innings. He gave up two runs on four hits with a trio of walks while striking out six Vibes batters.
Though last night's 15-run contest was the kind of offensive display fans have grown accustomed to seeing here in Colorado, tonight's low-scoring game proved to be a pitching display, with both staffs keeping the offense to a minimum. In fact, Micah Bello's double in the third inning proved to be the sole extra-base hit of the evening through the first eight frames.
In the top of the ninth, the Owlz offense came to life at last, breaking up the shutout and then some. Morgan McCullough led off with a double, Brandon White reached on a Vibes error, and Anthony Mulrine singled them both home to tie the game. Justin Kunz then doubled to put runners on second and third, and a Drevian Williams-Nelson single combined with another Vibes error allowed both to score to make it 4-2. D'Shawn Knowles followed up with an RBI double to make it 5-2.
The comeback held as the Vibes failed to score in the bottom of the ninth.
The Vibes are home for their second-to-last homestand of 2019, set to wrap up on 8/24. The Vibes will host 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 continue their eight-game homestand with the third game of a four-game series against the Orem Owlz, with first pitch set for 6:40 p.m. The Owlz are slated to start southpaw Kelvin Moncion (2-1, 4.02) against Vibes right-hander Michele Vassalotti (4-5, 6.62). The game will be available on MiLB.TV as well as the MiLB TuneIn app.
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.
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.
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: The Thursday night 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 on 8/24. The Vibes will host the Orem Owlz for four games before the team heads out on their final road trip of the year on 8/26.
NEXT GAME: Friday, August 23 @ 6:40 p.m. MT vs. Orem Owlz @ UCHealth Park
LHP Kelvin Moncion (2-1, 4.02) vs. RHP Michele Vassalotti (4-5, 6.62) - Broadcast: MiLB TuneIn app
PROMOTION: Friday Night Fireworks presented by WindishRV, and Team Cap giveaway presented by Pepsi
RMV TOP PERFORMERS
Karsen Lindell (3.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 SO)
Cam Devanney (0-for-1, 3 BB, 1 R, 1 SB)
Bryan Torres (2-for-4, 2 SB, 2B, 1 RBI)
ORM TOP PERFORMERS
Matt Leon (5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 6 SO)
Dazon Cole (2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO)
Anthony Mulrine (1-for-3, R, 2 RBI, BB)