Grand Junction Rockies recap, Sept. 5, 2017
Grand Junction 8, Ogden 7
Tuesday at Suplizio Field
Grand Junction 37-35, 19-15 second half; Ogden 44-28, 21-13.
With the victory, there’s still a chance Grand Junction will earn a spot in the Pioneer League playoffs. The Rockies, in their upcoming four-game road trip, need to win both games against Ogden — and possibly the final two games against Orem — to reach the postseason. Ogden currently leads Grand Junction in the South Division by two games and needs one of two things to happen to reach the postseason. Topping the second-half standings would propel the Raptors into the playoffs, joining first-half winner Orem. If the Owlz, currently tied atop the second-half standings, win the second half of the season, Ogden would still reach the postseason because they have the second-highest overall record.
As such, Grand Junction needs to beat Ogden twice, then hope Idaho Falls defeats the Raptors at least once in the final two games of the season.
With the end of Grand Junction’s home games and the Pioneer League season winding down, the next full-time stop for some of these players will be the Fall Instructional League.
Rosters for fall teams usually include many recent draft picks and any new international signings. As such, Grand Junction manager Frank Gonzales said some players from his team will report to Arizona for roughly four weeks in mid-September and October.
“There are bunch who are going; off the top of my head you’ve got (Casey) Golden and (Chad) Spanberger and a few more who were invited,” Gonzales said. “Obviously its an honor to get invited and, man, if I could take everybody, I would. They all deserve it.”
More players from the Colorado Rockies organization will take part in a strength and conditioning program during that time at the club’s complex in Arizona, but will not participate in Fall Instructional League games.
The key inning
Ramon Marcelino entered as a pinch hitter and launched a long home run to left field to break a 7-7 tie in the bottom of the eighth inning to give Grand Junction the lead for good.
Marcelino said through a translator that he jumped on a fastball and changed the game.
“It was a fastball and I felt great after hitting it,” he said. “To put the team ahead is awesome.”
On the mound
Jorge Oviedo was chased in the second inning as Ogden scored five runs in the first two frames. The left-hander issued three walks and struck out three, scattering five hits. The Raptors got one run across in the first inning with a double-steal, then plated four more in the second, starting with a two-run triple from Donovan Casey. Luis Paz followed with a single and, after two batters, Mitchell Hansen put Ogden up 5-0 with a single.
Alexander Martinez stabilized things with a solid 3 1/3 innings, giving up only three hits with no walks or runs allowed.
Aneudy Duarte stumbled in the sixth, giving up two more runs on Paz’s two-run home run, then Colton Hathcock and Jefry Valdez closed out the game.
At the plate
Both Golden and Spanberger hit home runs, bringing their season totals to 20 and 18, respectively. Golden is the first Pioneer League player since 2014 to reach 20 home runs in a season, and his three-run shot in the seventh tied the game at 7-7.
Grand Junction at Ogden, 6:30 p.m., Lindquist Field
Starting pitchers: Jeffri Ocando, GJ (5-4, 6.44 ERA) vs. Edwin Uceta, OGD (2-3, 6.18 ERA)
They said it
“I get emotional when I talk about these guys. They’re just a group that fights and you can’t take a bat out of anybody’s hands. We have runners on, down three runs, I’m sure there were a lot of people thinking Casey was going to bunt with us trailing. But all I can think of is that Mendoza, Goldy, Spanberger, all of them swung their way to this point.” — Frank Gonzalez on Casey Golden’s game-tying home run.
— Matt Meyer, The Daily Sentinel