Grand Junction 8, Ogden 5
Friday at Lindquist Field
Grand Junction 1-0, Ogden 0-1
GJ manager Jake Opitz recognized the resiliency of his club early this summer, and that hasn't changed in the playoffs.
Grand Junction sent 11 men to the plate and scored six runs in the top of the ninth inning to rally from a 5-2 deficit.
Friday was the first time in three chances the Rockies have won the opening game of a playoff series. Grand Junction has never advanced to the championship series of the Pioneer League, but can clinch a spot in the best-of-three finals with one win in the next two games. Great Falls beat Billings 3-2 in the first game of the North Division series.
The key inning
After the Rockies finally tied the game in the top of the seventh, Ogden came right back with three in the bottom of the inning to go up 5-2.
In the ninth, the Rockies came storming back.
Javier Guevara drew a leadoff walk and moved up on a passed ball, then took third when Daniel Montano grounded out.
John Cresto also walked and pinch-hitter Reese Berberet delivered an RBI single to left.
Will Golsan grounded to third, forcing Berberet at second, but ran hard down the first-base line and just beat the throw, keeping the Rockies alive.
That seemed to spark GJ, with Hunter Stovall beating out an infield single and scoring Cresto, and Coco Montes lining an RBI single to left to tie the game at 5-5. Grant Lavigne walked to load the bases, and the Raptors replaced Luis Pasen with Hunter Speer.
A wild pitch by Speer allowed Stovall to race home with the go-ahead run, and Niko Decolati walked. Guevara drove a two-run single up the middle to give the Rockies an 8-5 lead, plenty of cushion for closer Andrew Martinez.
On the mound
Ryan Feltner gave up a two-run home run in the first inning to Dillon Paulson, but regrouped and threw two scoreless innings after that.
Colton Harlow didn't allow a base runner for 2 1/3 innings, giving Grand Junction a chance to get back in the game. Jake Bird allowed three runs in the seventh.
Reagan Biechler got the win, pitching 1 2/3 perfect innings, and Martinez struck out two of the four men he faced in the bottom of the inning for the save, his 20th of the season.
Around the diamond
Grand Junction at Ogden, 6:30 tonight, Lindquist Stadium
Starting pitchers: N/A, GJ vs. Joel Inoa, O (4-2, 4.91 ERA)
— Sentinel Staff