GJ Rockies week in review
By Tim Merris
The Rockies came off a 2-4 road trip to go post a fantastic 6-1 home stand. The team mixed in timely hitting and consistent pitching to notch their most successful home stand of the season.
They started off with three against the Helena Brewers (MIL) before matching up with the Great Falls Voyagers (CWS) for a four-game set.
Game one saw Grand Junction score two in the bottom of the ninth with Julian Yan singling home Ashley Graeter with one out to send the Grand Junction Rockies home with a walk off 6-5 win over the Helena Brewers at Suplizio Field. It was the Rockies first walk off win of the season. Graeter had a big night offensively driving in three runs while collecting his first round tripper of the year. Jeffery Popick pounded out three hits running his average up to .363. David Dahl doubled in the third inning to extend his hit streak to 25 games. Jayson Aquino allowed four runs in six inning and Mike Mason picked up his second win with two scoreless inning out of the pen.
The second game of the series saw David Dahl single in the first and extend his hitting streak to 25 games. Julian Yan knocked in three to give him a team leading 46 RBIs for the season. Eddie Butler threw six shutout innings allowing five hits and striking out five, earning his sixth win as the Grand Junction Rockies won their third straight game, and second of the home stand.
The Rockies continued their winning ways by battling back from an early deficit and winning game with the Helena Brewers 5-4, completing the sweep of the three-game series. David Dahl doubled in the fifth to run his streak to 26 and give the Rockies a 4-2 lead. The Brewers scored two in the ninth, and had the tying run on third base, but Scott Oberg got Chris McFarland to pop up to end the game with Oberg picking up his 10th save of the season.
Great Falls came to town to open a four-game set with the Rockies. The series opener saw the Rockies prevail 4-3 scoring four runs in the third inning and holding on for their fifth straight win and fourth of the seven-game home stand. Jeffrey Popick led the charge with two RBIs and David Dahl went hitless in four at bats to end his hitting streak at 27. Raul Fernandez pitched a perfect ninth to record his first save of the year.
Game two went to the Voyagers, 8-5, ending the Rockies five-game win streak. The Rockies got two runs in the bottom of the eighth when Julian Yan hit his 114th home run of the season to cut the lead to 7-5, but Great Falls got one of those runs back to push the lead to back to three runs and hold on for the win. Alving Mejias took the loss giving up eight hits and four earned runs in two innings.
Grand Junction started a new win streak ripping the Voyagers pitching for 11 hits and 10 runs. The Rockies jumped in front with a four-run first inning to take an early 4-0 lead. David Dahl had three hits and drove in three runs with Julian Yan collecting two hits and three RBIs and Wilfredo Rodriguez added two hits for the Rockies. Jayson Aquino tossed seven strong innings, allowing just three hits and one unearned run.
The final game of the home stand saw Correlle Prime single home David Dahl with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning in sending the GJ Rockies to a 3-2 win over the Great Falls Voyagers thus taking three of four from the Voyagers to finish the home stand at 6-1. Eddie Butler pitched six innings, allowing just one run on seven hits. Scott Oberg got the save, his 11th allowing one hit, no runs and striking out two in the ninth.
After an off day, the Rockies will hit the road for an 11-game road trip starting Tuesday night with the first of a four-game series against Helena then Great Falls for three and finishing up the road trip with two in Idaho Falls and two in Orem.
The Rockies return home on Sept. 1 to finish out the season with a six-game home stand.
They currently hold down first place in the standing, one game ahead of the Ogden Raptors (LAD) with a record of 32-27.
If they can continue their winning ways, we could see them in the playoffs in their inaugural season in Grand Junction.