Grand Junction Rockies recap, Aug. 11, 2017
Grand Junction 3, Helena 0
Friday at Kindrick Legion Field
Grand Junction 24-24, 6-4 second half; Helena 17-29, 2-6.
The key inning
After seven scoreless innings, a three-run rally in the top of the eighth lifted Grand Junction to the win. The surge came on only one hit and resulted in Grand Junction nearly batting around.
Javier Guevara drew a leadoff walk and moved to second on Alan Trejo’s single. After a pitching change, Jeff Moberg laid down a sacrifice bunt that led to a throwing error to load the bases. Nic Motley struck out looking for the first out, but Shael Mendoza drew a four-pitch walk to put Grand Junction up 1-0. Then, with Pedro Gonzalez batting, a passed ball and a wild pitch on back-to-back plays handed the Rockies two more runs. Gonzalez drew a walk and immediately stole second base, but a fielder’s choice and Casey Golden’s three-pitch strikeout ended the frame.
On the mound
Logan Longwith allowed only two hits over five innings in a no-decision, striking out four batters with no walks.
Hayden Roberts came on in relief to pick up the victory, lasting two innings for his first outing without a walk in almost three weeks. He struck out the side in the sixth inning and threw only 11 pitches. He fanned the final batter he faced on three pitches.
Hunter Williams had the Rockies’ only walk in the eighth inning, but was otherwise solid, and Tommy Doyle struck out three batters in the ninth inning to earn his third save of the season.
At the plate
Gonzalez had the game’s only extra-base hit, driving a rolling double in the sixth inning. He tried to stretch it into a triple, but was thrown out at third. He finished 3 for 3 with a stolen base.
Mendoza singled in the third inning to bring his batting average to .373, the best among regular Grand Junction starters.
In the field
Two errors in the bottom of the ninth led to a rocky finish for Grand Junction.
Leadoff hitter Payton Henry reached second safely after Ramon Marcelino misplayed a ball in right field to start the frame. Doyle struck out the next two batters before Mendoza booted a ball at second to put runners on the corners. Then, Doyle closed the door with a swinging strikeout.
GJ at Helena, 7:05 p.m., Kindrick Legion Field
Starting pitchers: Anderson Amarista, GJ (2-1, 8.92 ERA) vs. Nelson Hernandez, HEL (5-1, 5.28 ERA)
— Sentinel Staff