Grand Junction, COLO. The Rocky Mountain Vibes produced an offensive surge Wednesday night in a 9-3 victory over the Grand Junction Rockies at Suplizio Field. A six-run fourth inning highlighted by RBI hits from Antonio Piñero, Ernesto Martinez, and Nick Egnatuk provided plenty of insurance for the Vibes’ pitching staff. Starter Nash Walters earned his first win of the season, allowing three runs (one earned) with four strikeouts over five innings.
The Vibes offense created traffic in the top of the first with the bases loaded and two outs before an Egnatuk fly ball to center ended the threat. The Rockies scored in the bottom half of the inning on a two-RBI double by Walking Cabrera.
The Rockies’ two-run lead quickly disappeared in the second. The Vibes posted a pair of runs, loading the bases for the second consecutive frame as José Sibrian (double), Jess Williams (single) and Ernesto Martinez (walked) reached safely. Piñero plated the first run on an RBI single to left followed by a sac-fly from Michael Wilson to tie the game.
The Rockies regained the lead in the bottom of the third on a throwing error by catcher Nick Kahle as he attempted to retire the speedy Eddy Diaz, ushering home Jacob Barnwell from third.
The Vibes took command in the top of the fourth with their first six-run inning of the season. The offense ambushed the Rockies as five consecutive hitters reached, including RBI singles from Martinez and Piñero. Bryan Torres pushed across a run on a fielder’s choice followed by an RBI double from Egnatuk. The Vibes caught a break when Sibrian reached on a Grand Junction error that plated Torres and Egnatuk, extending their lead to five.
The Vibes tacked on another run in the top of the seventh on a fielder’s choice by Edwin Sanó, pushing home Sibrian. The run increased their lead to 9-3 after seven frames. The Vibes offense finished with nine runs on 11 hits dispersed between seven of the nine starters.
For the fourth straight night, the Vibes pitching staff held the Grand Junction offense to less than four runs. In his latest impressive outing, Walters lowered his ERA to 1.45 on the season. Reliever Cristían Sierra posted three scoreless innings behind Walters, allowing one hit and striking out three. Austin Rubick blanked the Rockies in the ninth, striking out the side.
The Rocky Mountain Vibes continue their seven-game road trip tomorrow in Ogden, with the start of a five-game set against the Ogden Raptors. First pitch is set for 7:00 p.m.