After weather affected the remaining games of the series, the Northern Colorado Owlz tied their last three games of the series at Grand Junction (26-22).
The Owlz (17-28) after losing their game on Saturday and the first game on Sunday. They then ended the weekend with a win in the second matchup of the doubleheader.
Northern Colorado lost 4-2 to the Rockies, despite taking a 1-0 lead after the home side benefited from a couple of timed goals.
Designated hitter Alex Jackson started the game with a leadoff double and came home when third baseman Tim Bouchard followed up with an extra base hit of his own.
Left fielder Matt Turner added to the Owlz score at the top of the seventh when he hit a solo home run.
Despite NoCo’s pitchers staying clean on the mound and giving up just one walk, the Rockies recorded 12 hits in the game. Two of those hits were also doubles.
Grand Junction scored in the bottom third of the third. Two consecutive batsmen made singles to put the runners in first and second place, then a double took them both home.
The Rockies scored again in the seventh. A mistake by Bouchard allowed Grand Junction catcher Austin Elder to get to base. A single by his teammate touched down two runners, and Elder was raised in favor of a pinch runner. Another hit allowed the undeserved run to score.
A victim fly in the eighth propelled the final run for Grand Junction. It left eight runners stranded in total.
Northern Colorado was within striking distance in the top half of the round of 16, loading bases after two walks and a pitch hit. Unfortunately, the batting wasn’t there at the right time and the runners ended the inning stranded.
The Owlz pitchers ended with six strikeouts, no walks, and one balk. Despite struggling in the eighth round, the Rockies had 11 strikeouts in the contest.
Bouchard led the team with two hits, and nobody else had more than a run scored or an RBI. NoCo left six players in the pockets.
The Owlz were eliminated 6-3 in seven innings in the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader after pitching again proved a challenge.
Northern Colorado led 3-0 after the second inning. Shortstop Kevin Higgins recorded a leadoff single and Turner followed it up with a single of his own.
Second baseman Zach West earned a fielder’s pick after the Rockies tagged out Higgins, but the Owlz overran Turner after first baseman Robbie Kellerman’s base hit.
Catcher Marshall Rich reached from a miss and West scored the unearned run. Rich advanced on a wild throw while Kellerman hit on the throw.
Grand Junction pitcher Josh Agnew gave up just one earned run and knocked out 10. The wild pitch was also his only fault.
The Rockies hit all six runs with three hits, two of them in the third, fifth and sixth innings.
Both runs in the bottom of the fifth went unearned after the runner reached due to a mistake by Higgins.
Eight Grand Junction runners remained on the pockets compared to two by the Owlz. In addition, both teams ended the first game of the day with one penalty and five goals each.
Turner and Higgins had two hits each, but that was the best the Owlz got out of anyone.
Northern Colorado once again struggled on the hill unlike the Rockies, ending with a rough stat line. It had seven strikeouts to eight walks, plus two wild pitches and a hit batter.
In the final game of the weekend, the Owlz earned a 3-1 win, thanks in part to the Rockies’ defensive mistakes.
Center fielder Cameron Phelts started the game with a bang, leading with a double and stealing third base. Turner was called first, but his plate appearance gave Phelts enough time to score.
Grand Junction responded at the bottom of the frame with his only run of the game. The Owlz gave up three straight walks and a single brought home a runner.
Northern Colorado hit another run in the fourth and fifth innings. The next came after Kellerman’s hit against left fielder Johnny Garr.
In the next frame, the Rockies went on a run. Higgins and Garr both singled, giving the Owlz two baserunners. Higgins moved up to third on a wild toss and Garr moved forward on the toss. West drew a walk to load the bases.
Eventually, right fielder Euro Diaz drew his own walk and pushed Higgins to home plate.
The Owlz finished with six hits, two from Higgins and two from Garr, while the Rockies had five.
Northern Colorado’s defense also went clean, while the Rockies finished with two.
On the mound, the bullpen ended with six strikeouts and four walks. Grand Junction had seven strikeouts, six walks, two wild pitches, and one hit by pitch.
The Owlz kick off the second half of the season Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in Colorado Springs when they take on the Rocky Mountain Vibes.
https://www.greeleytribune.com/2022/07/19/northern-colorado-owlz-split-saturday-sunday-games-in-grand-junction/ Northern Colorado Owlz splits the last three games of the Grand Junction series