GJ Rox suffer 1st setback

Orem’s Ranyelmy Mendoza dives safely back into first base as Grand Junction first baseman Correlle Prime receives the throw during the third inning of Monday’s game. Mendoza and the Owlz went on to defeat the Rockies, 5-3, at Brent Brown Ballpark in Orem.

Orem scored two runs in the first inning despite not getting a hit. That helps explain how the Owlz, despite Grand Junction’s pitchers limiting them to five hits, handed the Rockies their first loss of the season, 5-3, in Pioneer League baseball Monday in Orem.

The Rockies (4-1) scored their runs early, two in the first inning and one in the third, but Orem’s Daniel Hurtado, Trevor Foss and Harrison Cooney combined to blank Grand Junction the rest of the way on five hits.

Two of Orem’s hits came in the decisive seventh inning, with the big blow coming off the bat of cleanup hitter Eric Aguilera, who hit a two-run double.

The Rockies started the game strong, scoring two runs in the top of the first inning by taking advantage of two errant throws by the Owlz. Grand Junction’s Cole Norton scored from third base on a throwing error by Orem catcher Zac Livingston. Ryan Garvey followed with a triple, then scored on a wild pitch.

The Owlz answered with two runs, taking advantage of a throwing error, hit batsman and a walk to load the bases. Orem plated its runs with a sacrifice fly and a groundout.

Grand Junction added a run in the third inning when Jordan Patterson, who went 3 for 3, singled home Jose Briceno.

Orem again responded by tying the game, putting two runners on with singles, but the run scored on a fielding error by Rockies shortstop Emerson Jimenez.

Foss, Orem’s third pitcher of the game, earned the win by tossing two scoreless innings of relief. He then yielded to Cooney, who retired the Rockies in order in the ninth, striking out the first two batters he faced.

Leadoff hitter Riley Good led Orem with two hits, and he stole two bases and scored twice.

Patterson’s three hits paced the Rockies, and Garvey and Correlle Prime each went 2 for 4.


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