Rookie Grand Junction
Game One - W 7-1
With their backs against the wall, Zach Jemiola took the mound for the Rockies and helped stave off elimination in the Pioneer League playoffs. After having Tuesday's game rained out, the Rockies faced the Idaho Falls Chukars in the first game of a doubleheader on Wednesday.
Jemiola had started the season strong posting a 3.32 ERA in the first half of the season before falling off the wagon in his last seven games to the tune of a 7.71 ERA. Recent struggles didn't hold back the right hander as he twirled the gem of his career, going 8.1 innings and allowing just one earned run on four hits, while striking out four. Peter Tago may be finding new life as a reliever and closed out the final two batters of the game-- one with a strikeout.
The Rockies used a big six inning, scoring six to take control of the game. Raimel Tapia continued his torrid season, going 2-for-5 with a RBI in the game. Catcher Jairo Rosario led the team with three hits, including a home run in the seventh. First baseman Correlle "Optimus" Prime doubled in the game and reached base twice on walks.
Game Two - L 2-5 (1-2)
Things looked rosy for the Rockies after a two-run rally in the first, capped by a home run from Ryan McMahon for an early 2-0 lead. Then everything went downhill from there as Chukars starter Yender Caramo allowed just two hits and two runs over seven innings. The Rockies struck out 10 times in the loss against the Royals affiliate.
Starter Blake Shouse made it through just four innings before giving way to the bullpen. Shouse allowed three earned runs on six hits, while striking out three and walking two batters. Right fielder Jordan Patterson was the only other Rockie to get a hit, with a line drive to center in the fourth inning. Surprisingly, Grand Junction's defense was solid throughout the day, going without an error in both games of the doubleheader after being saddled with eight in the first game of the series. The loss wrapped up Grand Junction's season and was the second consecutive playoff appearance in as many years since moving to the Western Slope.
Watch for more minor league coverage on Purple Row throughout the off-season as the Arizona Fall League ramps up, also Greg Stanwood will be providing articles on the impact of minor league free agency and I will be looking back at the best performances of the year as well as forward to what we can expect for next season. Thanks to everyone who took the time to read these Pebble Reports throughout the season!