Colo. Springs, COLORADO - 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.
After a rainout last night forced a doubleheader today, Game One kicked off promptly at 4:30 p.m. Despite no runs in the first inning, both teams scored a pair of runs in the second. After Orem scored two, the Vibes answered in the bottom half of the frame. Micah Bello drew a one-out walk, scoring on a Nick Egnatuk two-out double. A Carlos Rodriguez single scored Egnatuk to tie the game at two runs apiece.
In the next half inning, in the top of the third, Orem scored four more runs to take a substantial lead. Will Wilson led off with a homer, then after back-to-back singles David Clawson hit a two-RBI double. Morgan McCullough immediately followed up with an RBI single to make it a four-run game at 6-2.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, with two outs already on the board, the Vibes' offense roared to life. Bello hit a single, advancing to second on a José Sibrian single. Egnatuk was then hit-by-pitch to load the bases for pinch-hitter Bryan Torres, who hit an RBI single which-paired with an Orem throwing error-cleared the bases. Rodriguez then slapped his second single and third hit of the game to plate Torres and tie the game at 6-6.
Edwin Sanó led off the bottom of the seventh inning with a four-pitch walk for the Vibes, reaching third on a well-executed hit 'n run by Nick Kahle to put runners on the corners with no outs, with the winning run 90 feet from home. On the very next pitch, Jess Williams laid down a beautiful bunt single to score Sanó to let the Vibes walkoff Game One, 7-6 over Orem.
Just as in Game One, in Game Two the Owlz struck first with a pair of runs, this time in the top of the very first inning to go up 2-0. After a quick and quiet second inning, the Owlz scored again in the top of the third to take a 3-0 lead.
In the bottom half of the third inning, the Vibes responded loudly with the first grand slam in team history. Rodriguez reached on a fielder's choice for the second out of the inning, moving to second on a Cam Devanney single. Torres then drew a walk to load the bases for Kahle, who then belted the first grand slam in Vibes history, sending the Vibes from a 3-0 deficit to a 4-3 lead in the process.
The Owlz answered right away in the bottom of the fourth, scoring a sole run to tie the game at 4-4.
For the second time in as many games, the Vibes offense showed up in a big way in the bottom of the sixth inning. Kahle and Bello both reached on walks, with Egnatuk coming into the game to pinch-run for Kahle as the lead runner. Luis Avalo then singled to load the bases, and Luis Avila followed suit with a single of his own to plate two and give the Vibes a 6-4 lead. That would prove to be enough as the Vibes took Game Two, completing the doubleheader sweep over Orem.
The Rocky Mountain Vibes continue their seven-game homestand tomorrow with the third and final game against the Orem Owlz, 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 third and final game of a three-game set against the Orem Owlz. The Owlz are slated to start righty Matt Leon (3-2, 3.86) against Vibes right-hander Nash Walters (1-1, 3.73). The game will be available on MiLB.TV as well as the MiLB TuneIn app.
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 42 games: 2019 Vibes 19-23, 1901 Millionaires (first season) 19-23, finishing 45-73-1; 1950 Sky Sox (first Single-A season) 16-26, finishing 72-82-2; 1988 Sky Sox (first Triple-A season) 18-24, finishing 62-77; 1993 Sky Sox (first Rockies season) 22-20, finishing 66-75; 2015 Sky Sox (first Brewers season) 16-26, finishing 62-81.
This Week's Preview: The Vibes are back in Colorado Springs for a seven-game homestand. The Vibes open the seven-game homestand with a three-game series against the Orem Owlz set to wrap on July 31. Following the Owlz, the Vibes welcome the Ogden Raptors to town for a four-game series beginning on August 1.
NEXT GAME: Wednesday, July 31 @ 6:40 p.m. MT vs. Orem Owlz @ UCHealth Park
RHP Matt Leon (3-2, 3.86) vs. RHP Nash Walters (1-1, 3.73) - Broadcast: MiLB TuneIn app
PROMOTION: Community Ticket Day sponsored by Academy Mortgage
RMV TOP PERFORMERS (Game 1)
Nick Egnatuk (1-for-1, 2B, HBP, 2 R, RBI, BB)
Cristían Sierra (W, 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 SO)
Carlos Rodriguez (3-for-4, 2B, SB, 2 RBI)
ORM TOP PERFORMERS (Game 1)
David Clawson (2-for-3, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI)
Will Wilson (1-for-4, HR, R, RBI)
Yoel De Leon (5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 4 SO)