Four-Run Eighth Helps Grand Junction Down Brewers, 6-3
The Helena Brewers had trailed virtually all night before scoring two-runs in the seventh to even the score against the Grand Junction Rockies. However, a four-run eighth put the home team back on top, and Grand Junction went on to win, 6-3. The Rockies scored their six-runs off of just eight-hits, and Logan Longwith tossed five shutout innings in his best outing of the season.
Jayson Rose started for Helena and pitched well through his five-innings of work. He kept the Rockies off the scoreboard through the first two-frames, but the home team would take the lead in the third. After Rose retired Alan Trejo, Nic Motley drilled his second homer of the season over the wall in left-center and it was 1-0 Rockies.
Rose came out after five, allowing 3-hits and a run, while striking out 6. He was replaced by Brandon Presley, who struggled to find the strike zone. Motley and Shael Mendoza drew back-to-back walks to start the inning. With Pedro Gonzalez at the plate, catcher KJ Harrison made a snap throw behind the runner at second to pick him off for the first out of the inning. That was a huge out, because Presley continued to be wild, walking Gonzalez and Ryan Vilade to load the bases with just one down. Cameron Hanes came on and walked Chad Spanberger to drive home Mendoza before retiring the final two batters.
Helena had done nothing against Logan Longwith or Colton Hathcock. However, Michael Agis came on in the seventh and the Brewers would tie the score. With one down, Tristen Lutz drilled a ball to the wall in center that he legged out for a triple. Harrison followed with a base hit that scored Lutz to cut the deficit to one. Payton Henry then walked and, two batters later, Gabriel Garcia lined a base hit into right that scored Harrison to tie the score.
Tied at two heading into the bottom of the eighth, the Grand Junction Rockies would take the lead for good. With one down, Gonzalez walked against Cameron Hamnes and moved to second on a base hit by Vilade. Cody Beckman came into pitch for Helena but he could not quell the rally. Spanberger followed with a single that brought home Gonzalez before a wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position. Casey Golden singled into right scoring Vilade and moving Spanberger to third to extend the Grand Junction lead to two. Ramon Marcelino struck out, but the third strike got away from Harrison, allowing Marcelino to reach and Spanberger to score. Todd Czinege finished off the rally with a base hit that brought home Golden to make it 6-2.
Helena looked to rally in the ninth. Henry walked with one down and, two batters later, Gabriel Garcia tripled into center to score Henry all the way from first. That made it 6-3, but the Brewers would get no closer.
No Grand Junction player had more than one-hit in the game. Chad Spanberger drove in 2-runs. Gabriel Garcia was 2-5 with a triple and 2-RBI for Helena. Kenny Corey, Tristen Lutz, and KJ Harrison each had 2-hits as well.
Game 3 of this four-game series is set for Saturday. The Brewers are scheduled to send RHP Harold Chirinio (1-3, 7.76) to the mound against Rockies RHP Anderson Amarista (2-1, 8.29). First pitch is scheduled for 6:40.
By Robert Pannier