Colorado Springs, COLORADO - The Rocky Mountain Vibes closed out the ten-game homestand Monday night with their first team shutout in a 2-0 victory over the Grand Junction Rockies. Starter Michele Vassalotti earned the win going seven scoreless innings while allowing just two Rockies hits and four strikeouts. Reliever Maiker Pinto followed in the eighth inning to seal the victory with the six-out save. Pinto provided with two scoreless innings on two hits and three strikeouts. Luis Avalo provided the only offense by both teams with a two-run home run in the fifth inning.
After four scoreless innings, the Vibes broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the fifth. Micah Bello led off the inning with a double to left only to be picked off a batter later. Catcher José Sibrian later reached on an error by second baseman Christian Koss. Luís Avalo took advantage of the runner on by blasting his second home run of the season. His 419-foot home run provided the Vibes the 2-0 lead after five innings.
Grand Junction threatened for the first time all night with consecutive hits to start the ninth inning. After a Koss sac-bunt, Pinto retired the next two batters on a strikeout and an over-the-shoulder grab by Nick Egnatuk in short centerfield.
The pitching staff kept the Rockies' offense off-balance all night by allowing just four hits and seven strikeouts. Starter Michele Vassalotti (1-3, 8.71) dominated in his fourth start of the season. Vassalotti threw seven scoreless innings on two-hits with no walks and four strikeouts. Pinto followed with a six-out save and crucial outs in the ninth with the Rockies threatening. Pinto earned his second save of the season throwing two scoreless innings on two hits and three strikeouts.
Monday night's contest finished out the ten-game homestand for the Rocky Mountain Vibes, their longest of the 2019 season. The Vibes finished 3-7 in the homestand including two come-from-behind victories Friday and Saturday night against the Orem Owlz. Outfielder Micah Bello led the way offensively for the Vibes batting .333 with four doubles, two triples, and three runs batted in. For the pitching staff, the homestand standout was closer Jackson Sigman, making four scoreless appearances with one save and six strikeouts.
The Rocky Mountain Vibes hit the road for a seven-game road trip starting tomorrow in Grand Junction with a two-game set against the Grand Junction Rockies. First pitch is set for 6:40 p.m. The game will be available on MiLB.TV as well as on 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 begin their seven-game road trip with the first of a two-game series against the Grand Junction Rockies. The Vibes are slated to start right-hander Cam Robinson (0-2, 9.26) against Grand Junction southpaw Helcris Olivarez (0-0, 2.25) as both seek to pick up their first win of 2019. First pitch is set for 6:40 p.m.
Pitching the Shutout: Monday night's victory over the Grand Junction Rockies included the team's first shutout in history. Pitchers Michele Vassalotti and Maiker Pinto combined for the four-hit shutout while walking one batter and striking out seven. Vassalotti earned the win, throwing seven innings on two hits with four strikeouts and one walk. Pinto earned the save with two scoreless innings on two hits, one walk, and three strikeouts.
Cycle Watch: Micah Bello hit a triple in his first at-bat on Sunday afternoon, a double in his second, and a single in his third. His fourth at-bat of the game came in the bottom of the ninth inning, just a homer shy of the cycle, but was called out on strikes to miss out on what would've been the first cycle in Vibes history.
Comeback Kids: Both Friday and Saturday nights victory included come-from-behind wins. On Friday night, the Vibes rallied to score three runs in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game at four before eventually winning on a walk-off double by Antonio Piñero. Saturday night's contest included a four-run inning by the Vibes offense with Piñero at the center of things again. His two-RBI single helped cut the deficit in half. The Vibes took the lead in the seventh on a sharp groundball to third by Piñero to bring home Nick Egnatuk and help seal the victory.
Nash-ty: Vibes' starter Nash Walters has gotten off to a dominant start in the 2019 season. In three starts, including a start against the Orem Owlz Friday night, Walters has maintained a 1.32 ERA in 13 2/3 innings pitched with just seven hits allowed and 16 strikeouts. His .146 batting average against and 1.32 ERA ranks first and second, respectively, in Pioneer League leaders.
It's a Walk-Off!: The Vibes collected the first home victory, first come-from-behind victory, and first walk-off in team history at UCHealth Park on Friday night over the Orem Owlz. After being down 4-1 going into the eighth inning, the Vibes scored three runs in the top of the eighth to tie the game before Antonio Piñero hit a two-out, walk-off double in the bottom of the ninth to deliver a 5-4 victory and the Vibes' first-ever home win at UCHealth Park.
Leading the League: The Vibes issued eight walks in the series opener against Orem on Thursday night, increasing their total on the season to 99, which leads the entire Pioneer League. The staff immediately behind them in the Pioneer League in bases on balls issued is Orem, who issued none on Thursday evening with their total remaining at 73.
Offense on Display: From 1988 to 2018, there were exactly 100 games at UCHealth Park where both teams scored 10 runs or more in a game, with Tuesday night marking #101 and the first of the Vibes era with the 11-10 loss to Ogden.
MONSTER Inning: The last time a Colorado Springs team scored nine runs or more in the bottom of the sixth inning prior to Tuesday night-when the Vibes scored nine runs-was 6/11/2013 when the Sky Sox were playing the Salt Lake Bees and the Sky Sox scored 10 runs in that frame, with the Sky Sox winning that game 15-9.
Vibes Ejections: In the sixth inning Tuesday night, Vibes manager Néstor Corredor was ejected for arguing an out call at home plate, becoming the first member of the Vibes to ever be ejected. In Wednesday's contest versus Ogden, third-base coach Nick Rickles was ejected in the third inning over arguing a fair/foul call down the left-field line.
This Week's Preview: The Vibes finish up their 10-game homestand with a two-game series against the Grand Junction Rockies set to start on Sunday. On July 2nd, the Vibes head out to Grand Junction for the start of a seven-game road trip including a two-game series against the Rockies and a five-game set against the Ogden Raptors.
NEXT GAME: Tuesday, July 2 @ 6:40 p.m. MT vs. Grand Junction Rockies @ Suplizio FIeld
LHP Helcris Olivarez (0-0, 2.25) vs. RHP Cam Robinson (0-2, 9.26) - Broadcast: MiLB TuneIn app
RMV TOP PERFORMERS
Michele Vassalotti (7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 4 SO)
Maiker Pinto (2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 3 SO)
Luís Avalo (1-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, R
GJ TOP PERFORMERS
Christopher Navarro (2-for-3)
Turner Brown (1-for-1)
Jared Horn (2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB)