Vibes Walk-Off Thwarts Raptors Comeback
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - Having just tied the game in the top of the ninth, the Ogden Raptors were hoping they could put Saturday's contest into extra innings and work the magic that brought them two extra-inning walk-off wins earlier in the week.
Unfortunately, the bottom of the ninth didn't make it to the second hitter.
Joe Gray, leading off in the Rocky Mountain half of the final frame, blasted a full-count offering from Corey Merrill over the wall in left to give the Vibes a 7-6 win over the Raptors in the opener of a four-game series.
Ogden, trailing since the second inning, had scored twice in the top of the ninth to tie the game and had the potential go-ahead run thrown out at the plate. Twice, in the fifth and eighth innings, the visitors committed errors that allowed Rocky Mountain to pick up insurance runs and create a two-run gap entering the ninth.
The Vibes, going against a spot starter in Ogden's Yeison Cespedes, hit for the cycle as a team to score four times in the second. A double and single put two runners on before a triple cleared the bags. A groundout brought in the run from third and a solo blast made it 4-0.
After putting two on with no outs in both the third and fourth without scoring, the Raptors finally broke their goose eggs in the fifth. With one out and a runner on first, Jorbit Vivas launched a shot over the right-center field fence, his first homer in a Raptors uniform, to cut the Rocky Mountain lead in half.
In the bottom of the fifth, however, the Vibes picked up an insurance run. With two out, a runner on first was balked to second before scoring when a bouncing ball tipped off the glove of Ogden first baseman Brandon Lewis and rolled toward second base as the runner sped home.
Two more Raptors runs - a Vivas sacrifice fly scoring Jeremy Arocho and wild pitch plating Cesar Mendoza - made it 5-4 in the seventh.
Another unearned run for the hosts pushed their lead to two entering the ninth. The second batter of the eighth reached on a ground ball that bounced off Zac Ching's glove, and with two out a single to right plated the runner from second.
In the ninth, Aldrich De Jongh, Arocho and Mendoza all singled to start the frame. Mendoza's hit knocked in De Jongh to cut the lead to one. A groundout moved Arocho and Mendoza to third and second, respectively, but Brandon Lewis was walked intentionally to load the bases. Ching came up with his first hit of the game, a single to right, to plate Arocho and tie the game. Mendoza was also sent home on the play, but a perfect throw from right field created a bang-bang play at the plate and Mendoza was called out. Andy Pages threatened the left-field fence with a long drive, but it was caught to end the frame.
Despite the defensive miscues, the Raptors also turned in multiple sterling plays. In the first, the Vibes had runners on the corners and one out before a shallow pop-up sent second-baseman Arocho into center field. The runner on third tried to tag and score, but Arocho's throw was perfect, the runner was out and the inning ended. Mendoza, who entered the game in the second after starting catcher Ramon Rodriguez was injured on a batter's back-swing, helped the cause by throwing out three runners attempting to steal second.
Ogden and Rocky Mountain play game two of their four-game series Sunday afternoon at 1:30.
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Pioneer League Stories from August 18, 2019
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- Osprey Lose Four Game Series to Great Falls Due to Field Conditions - Missoula PaddleHeads
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- Chukars End Mustangs Win Streak at Six Games - Billings Mustangs
- Raptors Even Series with Sunday Win - Rocky Mountain Vibes
- Voyagers Doubleheader Tonight Postponed - Great Falls Voyagers
- Offensive Explosion Ends Losing Streak - Grand Junction Rockies
- Vibes Walk-Off Thwarts Raptors Comeback - Ogden Raptors
- Chukars Drop Sixth Straight - Idaho Falls Chukars
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