Rockies run away from Raptors 13-6; Vibes shake things up
The Grand Junction Rockies used home runs to break out of a battle and claimed the first game in an eight-game series, defeating the Ogden Raptors 13-6 on Tuesday at Suplizio Field in Grand Junction, Colorado.
The Raptors (13-10) jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first when outfielder Josh Broughton tripled in second baseman Dakota Conners, then scored on a Freddy Achecar groundout.
Dylan Pearce pitched three stellar innings, striking out six, before getting touched up when Charles Middleton homered in the bottom of the fourth and Nico Popa left the yard in the fifth to put the Rockies up 4-2.
Nick Michaels and Jesus Valdez each walked to lead off the top of the sixth, leading GJ to pull starter Jimmy Dobrash. Michaels scored on an error and Valdez on an Andrew Noviello sacrifice fly to tie the game 4-4.
With Miguel Cirino on the mound for Ogden, Caleb Farmer and Jaylen Hubbard each homered in the seventh to put Grand Junction (11-12) up 7-4.
New addition Damian Henderson took the mound for the Raptors in the eighth and things got away from him. He gave up a two-run double, an RBI single and walked in a run with the bases loaded during a six-run Rockies inning to make it 13-4.
In the top of the ninth, Valdez tacked on a pair of RBIs to his season total with a bases-loaded single for the final score.
Broughton, Achecar and Valdez each totaled two hits for Ogden, with Broughton’s triple the only extra-baser.
VALDEZ NAMED POW
Raptors infielder Jesus Valdez was named the Pioneer League South Division player of the week for his play in Ogden’s 3-3 split against league-leading Idaho Falls last week. In the six games, Valdez had 12 hits and 12 RBIs, hitting .545 with three home runs and a double.
VIBES SHAKE THINGS UP
After a disastrous 4-19 start that continued the team’s poor on-field performance from 2021, the Rocky Mountain Vibes (Colorado Springs) have altered the player agreement that supplied them younger players from Monclova, a Mexican League team, and returned roster control to a local director of personnel, per announcements the team made Tuesday.
Including last season, the Vibes entered this week 26-92 (.220) in the independent version of the Pioneer League.
Dave Hajek, also head coach of the Division II college team in Colorado Springs, will take over roster management, using some Monclova players while also signing his own. The Vibes released 11 players Monday and signed 13.
The one-game sample of changes is good as Rocky Mountain crushed Northern Colorado 16-4 on Tuesday. One new addition is shortstop Andrew Hanson, who hit 4 for 6 with six RBIs. Pedro Alfonseca is the only Raptors-related player involved in the changes. After playing in Ogden for just more than a week, the two-way Alfonseca joined the Vibes and pitched one inning Tuesday.
Hajek also joined the coaching staff and the Vibes also changed their pitching coach.
Ogden is yet to play in-division foe Rocky Mountain this season. The Raptors will host the Vibes to end the first half from July 12-17, and play two more series against RMV in the second half (one home, one away). The Vibes did not visit Ogden last year.
Grand Junction 13, Ogden 6
Rocky Mountain 16, Northern Colorado 4
Boise 7, Billings 6
Glacier 2, Great Falls 0
Missoula 13, Idaho Falls 8
PIONEER LEAGUE STANDINGS
Through June 21
Idaho Falls 16-8
Great Falls 15-10
Grand Junction 11-12
Northern Colorado 11-12
Rocky Mountain 5-19