Aggressive approach at plate working for GJ Rox
They may be young players beginning their professional career, but they haven’t been tentative.
The Grand Junction Rockies have come out with an aggressive approach at the plate, and it’s working. They put together six runs on seven hits to defeat the Ogden Raptors 6-3 on Friday night at Suplizio Field. The Rockies (2-0) have scored 16 runs in their first two games.
“We have a bunch of young kids that don’t know any better right now,” Rockies manager Anthony Sanders said. “They’re being aggressive. I’ve been preaching to them, and so is (hitting coach) Lee (Stevens). Everything we do in preparation is about being aggressive, and that’s what they’re doing.”
Grand Junction hit with runners in scoring position, leaving two runners on base. Ogden (0-2) didn’t and stranded nine.
The Rockies had two big hits with two on and two out leading to four runs.
Zach Osborne came through with a two-run triple with a 1-2 count and two outs in the second inning to give Grand Junction a 3-1 lead.
Sanders gave Osborne a stop sign as he rounded second, but Osborne intended to stretch the hit into the right-center-field gap into a three-bagger.
“The way they teach us how to run bases is everything is kind of on you and being aggressive,” Osborne said. “I felt I had a shot. I was being aggressive and made them play catch.”
Osborne was trying to find the ball when he turned at second base.
“At that time of day, the shadows are bad, so I had trouble figuring out where the ball was,” he said. “It worked out for me.”
Sanders was OK with it.
“It was a huge at-bat with two strikes,” Sanders said. “He went the other way and didn’t even pick me up. He knew right away he was coming through all the way. That’s just the aggressive spirit these guys have right now.”
The Rockies added a run in the fourth on Robbie Perkins’ run-scoring single to center.
“We definitely have an aggressive approach,” he said. “They want us to take extra bases when we can. They want us getting after the fastball.”
It was Perkins’ at-bat in the sixth that was big. The Australian hit the first pitch he saw from relief pitcher Thomas Taylor — a fastball — off the center-field batter’s-eye wall for a home run and a 6-1 lead.
“I had a pretty good idea it was coming,” Perkins said. “He put it somewhere I could hit it.”
It was his first professional home run.
“It feels great, especially to do it here in front of the home crowd,” Perkins said. “I had a smile on my face straight away. It’s a great feeling.”
Perkins was 2 for 2 with two runs and three RBI in his professional debut.
Correlle Prime was 2 for 3 with a run, and Ryan McMahon was 2 for 4. McMahon is 4 for 8 in the first two professional games for the second-round pick.
The Rockies produced enough offense for Joel Payamps to get a win in his Grand Junction Rockies debut despite four Grand Junction errors. Payamps allowed one run on two hits with four walks and one hit batsman, and he struck out five.
Ogden pushed a run across in the seventh on a base hit. It was the only time the Raptors got a hit with a runner in scoring position all night.
The Raptors added another run in the ninth when Jesmuel Valentin singled up the middle and scored when Raimel Tapia and Emerson Jimenez misplayed the ball.