Created: Mon, 18 Aug 2014 12:53:00 MST
Updated: Mon, 18 Aug 2014 01:10:17 MST
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. -- Closing pitcher Alec Crawford is normally a stalwart for the Grand Junction Rockies, leading the Pioneer League in saves; but, the Great Falls Voyagers were able to get to Crawford in Saturday night's game, rallying from a two-run deficit to defeat the GJ Rockies 8-6. Crawford didn't like that, and showed it in his outing Sunday night at Suplizio Field, battling to get the last three outs and secure an 11-9 win for Grand Junction.
In a back-and-forth game, the GJ Rockies held a 3-run lead heading into the ninth inning. Cue Crawford.
Crawford came in for his usual ninth inning save opportunity, but things were rocky from the start. He gave up a leadoff walk to Great Falls' Patrick Palmeiro. The next batter, Louie Lechich hit a long single to right field that bounced off the top of the wall, and advanced Palmeiro to third.
Crawford struck out John Ziznewski for the first out, but Ryan Jones followed that up with a sacrifice fly to left, cutting the Rockies lead to two, and bringing the tying run to the plate. Crawford walked Zach Stoner, putting two Voyagers on base, and that prompted a visit to the mound from GJ Rockies Pitching Coach Ryan Kibler.
"Just as tough as it gets right there, with a man on second and first, and having a couple hits in the inning. But, [Kibler] came out there, gave me a little bit of confidence, and just told me to be myself out there and get the job done. I tried to take his words for advice, and got it done," said Crawford.
Crawford struck out Hunter Jones to seal the win.
Hamlet Marte and Nate Causey each chipped in 3 RBIs apiece.
The GJ Rockies wrap up inter-division play for the 2014 season Monday night at Suplizio Field.
Additionally, pitcher Rafael Betancourt was called up to the AAA Colorado Springs Sky Sox Sunday, ending Betancourt's rehab assignment in Grand Junction. Betancourt underwent Tommy John Surgery last September, and began his recovery with the rookie-level ball club. Betancourt pitched 13.1 innings for the GJ Rockies, posting a 2.03 ERA.