Colorado Springs, COLORADO - The Rocky Mountain Vibes dropped a heartbreaker on Tuesday night in their first-ever contest against the Ogden Raptors, 11-10. After going down 9-1 through six and a half innings, the Vibes rallied for nine runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to take a 10-9 lead, before giving up two runs in the top of the seventh to ultimately lose 11-10, for their fifth straight loss and their fourth in a row at home.
The Ogden Raptors wasted no time at all, scoring twice in the top of the first. Sam McWilliams doubled to lead off the game, and even though Vibes starter Carlos Luna was able to retire the next two batters, in the fourth at-bat of the game Joe Vranesh went deep to give the Raptors an early 2-0 lead.
After going three up three down in the bottom of the first inning, the Rocky Mountain offense came to life some in the bottom of the second. Micah Bello and Ernesto Martinez led off with back to back singles, and a passed ball allowed both to move up 90 feet. Jess Williams then hit a sacrifice fly to score Bello from third to make it a one run game.
In the fourth inning the Raptors tagged on another run to make it 3-1, and in the top of the sixth inning the Ogden offense really opened up, scoring six more runs to make it a 9-1 game, seemingly putting the game out of reach.
However, the bottom of the sixth inning proved to be when things really got interesting. With one out, Martinez drew a walk to get things going, and a wild pitch moved him up to second. Nick Egnatuk then drew a walk, as did Williams to load the bases. José Sibrian then hit a two-RBI single to make it 9-3. Edwin Sanó drew yet another walk to re-load the bases, before Michael Wilson was called out on a foul tip for the second out of the inning. Vibes manager Néstor Corredor was ejected for arguing the out call at home plate, becoming the first member of the Vibes to ever be ejected. The ejection catalyzed a rally, however, with Antonio Piñero hitting a team-best sixth double to clear the bases and make it a three-run affair at 9-6. Bryan Torres then drew a walk to put two on for Bello-who had recorded the first out of the inning as the Vibes batted all the way around-as he singled on the first pitch of the at-bat to plate Piñero. Martinez then doubled to tie the game at nine runs apiece, and Egnatuk walked for the second time in the inning. A wild pitch let Martinez score to give the Vibes a 10-9 lead.
In the top of the seventh, McWilliams homered to lead off the inning and tie the game. The Raptors went on to score again in the inning to retake the lead, 11-10. The Raptors were ab;e to hang on to the tight one-run lead, to deliver the Vibes fifth loss in a row and take a 1-0 series lead.
The Rocky Mountain Vibes continue their opening homestand against the Ogden Raptors tomorrow, with first pitch set for 12:30 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 continue their 10-game homestand with the second game of a two-game series against the Ogden Raptors on Wednesday. Vibes right-hander Michele Vassalotti (0-2, 11.25) is slated to face Raptors righty Jeronimo Castro (0-0, 4.50) as both pitchers seek to pick up their first win of the season.
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.
First Vibes Ejection: 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.
History with the Dodgers: Prior to the start of this season, Colorado Springs has had 40 seasons of minor league baseball since 1950 with an affiliated MLB club. From 1950-1958, the Sky Sox were affiliated with the Chicago White Sox in the Single-A Western League. Then in the 31 years in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, the Sky Sox were affiliated with the Cleveland Indians (1988-1992), Colorado Rockies (1993-2014), and Milwaukee Brewers (2015-2018). As the Rocky Mountain Vibes begin their tenure in the Pioneer League, they also begin a series with the Ogden Raptors, the Rookie Advanced affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers. When this series began against Ogden, the Los Angeles Dodgers will be the ONLY MLB club to field an affiliated team against a Colorado Springs ballclub in all three eras, during all nine years of Western League affiliation from 1950-1958, all 31 years in the Pacific Coast League from 1988-2018, and this season in the Pioneer League. Below is a win-loss breakdown over the years of Colorado Springs teams vs. a Dodger affiliate:
Single-A Western League
1950-1957 (Brooklyn Dodgers) with Pueblo Dodgers 102-80
1958 (Los Angeles Dodgers) with Des Moines Dodgers 15-6
Triple-A Pacific Coast League
1988-2000 (L.A. Dodgers) with Albuquerque Dukes 109-117 (*)
2001-2008 (L.A. Dodgers) with Las Vegas 51s 40-48
2009-2014 (L.A. Dodgers) with Albuquerque Isotopes 11-12
2015-2018 (L.A. Dodgers) with Oklahoma City Dodgers 34-30
Rookie Pioneer League
2019 (L.A. Dodgers) with Ogden Raptors 0-1
Regular season record: 311-292 (117-86 Single-A, 194-205 Triple-A)
(*) The Sky Sox and Dukes played 14 additional games in the postseason, 5-9 in postseason games against the Dukes in 1989, 1990, and 1994.
The New York/San Francisco Giants were the second closest, not competing in the last two years in the Western League in 1957-1958, fielding a team in all 31 years in the PCL, but they do not have an affiliate in the Pioneer League. The Oakland A's were in the Western League from 1950-1952 only, when the A's were still based in Philadelphia, then fielded a team in all 31 years in the PCL, but do not have an affiliate in the Pioneer League. The Chicago Cubs did have an affiliate for all nine years in the Western League 1950-1958, but the Cubs did not join the Pacific Coast League until 1998, 10 years after the Sky Sox joined the league. The Cubs also do not have an affiliate in the Pioneer League as well.
Opening Weekend Recap: The opening weekend for the Vibes didn't go according to plan. In a three-game series with the Grand Junction Rockies, the Vibes were dealt their first series sweep of the season. The offense cooled off dramatically, hitting just .224 with an on-base percentage of .290 as a unit in the series. As a staff, they compiled an ERA of 6.33 with 31 strikeouts in 27 innings. Their troubles on the mound stemmed from 23 base on balls in the series and a 1.81 staff WHIP.
Fun fact: On Saturday, Miami Marlins (and former Sky Sox) catcher Wilkin Castillo got his first hit and RBI in the majors since June 20th, 2009 (ten years and two days), in the Marlins' 5-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. Back in 2009, while with the Cincinnati Reds, Castillo suffered a season-ending torn right labrum in a game against the Chicago White Sox, and had not made it back to the majors until Saturday. Castillo's long trek back to the Majors included Triple-A stops in Louisville, Gwinnett, Colorado Springs, Indianapolis, Buffalo, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and New Orleans, along with several stints in Double-A, the Mexican League, and independent baseball with the Long Island Ducks. Castillo played in 74 games with the Sky Sox in the 2012 season, under the Rockies affiliation, batting .253, with four HR and 34 RBI.
Leg it Out: Julio Carreras of the GJ Rockies legged out an inside-the-park home run in the very first inning Friday night in the Vibes first-ever home game. The last inside-the-park homer hit here at UCHealth Park was turned by Brian Anderson of the New Orleans Baby Cakes, on August 11th, 2017 in the 10th inning off Sky Sox pitcher Tyler Cravy. New Orleans won 6-4 in 10 innings.
Out of Position: Prior to Luís Avila's pitching appearance on Wednesday, the last Colorado Springs position player to pitch in a game was by former Sky Sox outfielder Tim Smalling against Omaha on August 7th, 2014, while the Sky Sox was a Rockies affiliate. Smalling's line: ⅓ IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0BB, 1K In a 16-9 loss to Omaha in Colorado Springs. Recent Sky Sox Manager Rick Sweet did not use a position player to pitch during his four years as Sky Sox Manager from 2015-2018.
This Week's Preview: The Vibes are back in Colorado Springs to face the Ogden Raptors in a two-game set wrapping tomorrow, Wednesday, June 26. After that the Vibes will play a three-game series against the Orem Owlz, followed by a two-game set against the Grand Junction Rockies before heading back out on the road on July 2.
NEXT GAME: Wednesday, June 26 @ 12:30 p.m. MT vs. Ogden Raptors @ UCHealth Park
RHP Jeronimo Castro (0-0, 4.50) vs. RHP Michele Vassalotti (0-2, 11.25) - Broadcast: MiLB TuneIn app
PROMOTION: Kids Day!