Grand Junction Rockies recap, July 28, 2017
Ogden 6, Grand Junction 2
Friday at Lindquist Field
Grand Junction 18-20, Ogden 23-15
On the mound
Michael Zimmerman made his season debut, coming off a shoulder injury during spring training. The left-hander threw 43 pitches, 27 for strikes. He faced nine batters in 2 1/3 innings, entering the game in the fifth. Zimmerman gave up one run on three hits and struck out three in relief of Will Gaddis (3-1), who allowed five runs on seven hits through the first four innings. Gaddis walked two and struck out three.
At the plate
Things did not start well for the Rockies. After Shael Mendoza singled to lead off the game, the next five batters struck out against Edwin Uceta. Ryan Vilade took a called third strike and Mendoza was thrown out attempting to steal second to end the first inning on the double play.
In all, the Rockies struck out 11 times, the second straight night Grand Junction batters have struck out 10 or more times.
Ramon Marcelino hit a solo home run in the fifth for Grand Junction, his sixth of the season. He and Brett Stephens, who drove in GJ’s first run of the game, were the only Rockies to not strike out, and Marcelino had two of GJ’s eight hits.
In the field
Tyler Adkinson led off the Raptors’ seventh inning with a double, but got a little greedy, and Marcelino made him pay. The Rockies’ right fielder got the ball in quickly to Mendoza, who threw Adkinson out at third with a strike to Todd Czinege. The play saved one run — Donovan Casey followed with a double.
Around the diamond
Friday’s game ended the first half of the Pioneer League South season, with Orem clinching the first-half title and a playoff berth. After a 5-13 start, Grand Junction put things together, winning 13 of its final 20 games in the half, but still finished two games below .500 and in third place.
The second-half champion also receives a playoff bid. Should Orem win the second half title, the team with the best overall record other than the Owlz will get a wild-card berth. In the North, which ends the first half today, Billings leads Missoula by one game.
After Sunday’s games, teams get a three-day break for the Pioneer League-Northwest League All-Star Game. Three Rockies, Mendoza, Vilade and relief pitcher Michael Agis, will play in Tuesday’s game in Hillsboro, Oregon. The Rockies will host the 2018 All-Star game at Suplizio Field.
Grand Junction at Ogden, 7 p.m., Lindquist Field
Starting pitchers: Justin Valdespina, GJ (0-4, 7.08 ERA) vs. Christian Stolo, OG (1-0, 0.00)
— Sentinel staff