Defense lifts GJ Rockies past Ogden
A pair of heads-up defensive plays in the bottom of the ninth inning Wednesday night preserved the Grand Junction Rockies’ 5-4 Pioneer League victory at Ogden, Utah.
After the Rockies broke a 4-4 tie in the seventh inning, the Raptors threatened to send it to extra innings in the ninth.
With one out and Ogden’s Alex Santana on second after a walk and sacrifice bunt, Spencer Navin grounded to short.
Santana, running on contact, took a big turn at third. Grand Junction shortstop Emerson Jimenez threw to the plate, and Santana, who slipped, was caught in a rundown for the second out.
Navin, the Raptors’ catcher who reached on the fielder’s choice, was replaced by pinch runner Faustino Oguisten. He was thrown out trying to steal second by catcher Jairo Rosario to end the game.
The Rockies (6-1) struck out eight times in the first five innings against Ogden starter Francisco Villa and trailed 3-0.
With two out in the fifth, though, Terry McClure doubled and Cole Norton walked. Zach Osborne doubled to right, scoring both runners, and Raimel Tapia reached on an error, sending Osborne to third.
A wild pitch tied the game and Correlle Prime broke the tie with an RBI single to center, chasing Villa.
Ogden tied the game in the bottom of the fifth, and McClure’s speed produced the Rockies’ go-ahead run in the seventh.
He reached on an error, stole second and third and came home on Norton’s sacrifice fly to left.
Joel Payamps picked up his second win with six strikeouts and one walk over six innings. He allowed four runs on seven hits.
Ogden (4-3) got an RBI triple by Pat Stover and scored another run in the first inning on a wild pitch, then made it 3-0 in the second on a leadoff home run by Gerson Nunez.
Payamps struck out two in the third and Rosario picked off Stover at second. Rosario also threw out Nunez trying to steal to end the fourth inning.
Carlos Estevez threw two hitless innings in relief of Payamps and Carlos Yan recorded his first save, walking in the ninth.
Osborne went 2 for 4 and drove in two runs to lead Grand Junction, which wraps up the road trip tonight at Ogden.