GRAND JUNCTION, Colo — Extra innings seemed certain.
Grand Junction’s Reese Berberet, struggling all season at the plate, sent a ball sky-high in the bottom of the 9th inning against the Ogden Raptors. With a runner on third and two outs, it appeared Ogden’s rock-solid defense would keep the score tied 1-1, guaranteeing some bonus baseball.
Instead, Ogden’s shortstop Zac Ching watched as the ball fell into his glove, out of his glove, and promptly onto the ground. A stunned Berberet raised his arms in victory, as Junction’s Jack Yalowitz crossed home to deliver a wild, 2-1 win over the Raptors Wednesday at Suplizio Field.
Despite the ending, solid defense and stellar pitching was the story of the game early. Rockies starter Anderson Amarista and Ogden starter Elio Serrano both threw six scoreless innings. Amarista and Serrano only allowed a combined six hits on the day, with Amarista striking out 3 and Serrano 6.
Ogden’s only run of the evening came in the top of the 9th inning on a sacrifice fly from Jon Littell. The Raptors would take the 1-0 lead into the 9th inning. In the 9th, Grand Junction tied things up on an RBI single from Yalowitz. After an errant pick-off throw moved Yalowitz to third, Berberet’s magical pop-up sealed the 2-1 win.
The Rockies (4-1), with the victory, take the series win against Ogden (3-2). After being named to the 2019 Pioneer League All-Star team, Christian Koss, Rockies starters Colin Simpson, and Eddy Diaz were all given the day off by manager Jake Opitz.
Junction’s victory secures the team 1st place in the second half of the Pioneer League standings. Grand Junction will continue their home-stand with the Orem Owlz coming to Suplizio Field Thursday and Friday with games beginning at 6:40 p.m.