Ramirez helps GJ Rockies top Idaho Falls

Idaho Falls’ Adrian Martinez beats the tag of Grand Junction’s Matt Wessinger to steal second on Tuesday in the Rockies’ 7-6 victory.

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — Michael Ramirez has only been with the Grand Junction Rockies for a month, but he has quickly made his mark.

Friday night in Helena, Mont., he threw a runner out at third in a tie game in the bottom of the eighth. Tuesday, he sealed the Rockies’ 7-6 win by hanging onto Julian Yan’s throw in a collision at home plate.

Idaho Falls had runners at the corners with one in the bottom of the ninth inning. Elier Hernandez lined out to Yan in right and Nick Cuckovich tagged and tried to score from third.

The combination of Yan’s strong arm and Ramirez’s strong grip on the ball kept that from happening.

“You have to tip your cap to both Yan and Ramirez,” Rockies manager Tony Diaz said. “Yan made a perfect throw in a big situation, and Ramirez did what he always does. You can’t judge his impact on this team with his stats.”

The win kept the Rockies (37-30, 16-13) one game behind Ogden for the second-half lead. Ogden beat Orem 6-3. In the overall season standings, Grand Junction is one game behind Ogden but four ahead of Orem with nine games to play.

The Rockies scored twice in the bottom of the first, but the good start didn’t last long. The first six Chukars reached with base hits against Ryan Warner, and before the first out of the inning was recorded, they had scored four runs to take a 4-2 lead, but it could’ve been worse.

Warner left the bases loaded in the first, and the Chukars loaded the bases against him in the second, but he ended the threat by getting a double play.

Grand Junction scored three runs in the third inning to take a 5-4 lead, but the lead didn’t last long.

Alving Mejias replaced Warner in the bottom of the third, but he allowed a single and a triple to the first two batters he faced, giving the Chukars the lead again. Mejias didn’t allow another run over the next three innings.

The Rockies took the lead for good in the sixth. Juan Ciriaco tripled home Ramirez to tie the game at 6-6. With two out, David Dahl singled to give the Rockies a 7-6 lead.


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