Raptors' Chigbogu goes yard three times
Justin Chigbogu earned himself a spot in Pioneer League history on Friday night, and in doing so he caught himself by surprise.
"I didn't know until they told me after the game, but it's a great feeling to go into the books," the Dodgers prospect said. "I didn't see it coming."
Chigbogu homered three times, matching the league record and becoming the first player in team history to do it in a regular-season game, as Rookie-level Ogden outslugged visiting Great Falls, 10-8.
The three-homer game was the third in as many nights in the Minor Leagues and the first at the Rookie level this season. Kade Johnson slugged three long balls for the Raptors in a playoff game on Sept. 4, 2000.
Chigbogu had two homers on a five-RBI night for Ogden last Aug. 6 and has 10 homers this season between the Pioneer League and the Class A Midwest League.
His 4-for-4, four-RBI night kicked off with a first-inning roundtripper off Voyagers starter Zach Thompson. The left-handed hitting Chigbogu took the right-hander deep to right field.
"It was an inside pitch and I turned on it. I thought it was going to hit the wall and I ran hard up the first-base line," he said. "Then I heard the fans screaming and looked around and saw that it had gone out. That's a great feeling."
The 2012 fourth-round Draft pick singled up the middle against Thompson in the third, then chased him from the game with an opposite-field dinger in the fifth.
"I was working the count on that 'AB,' and I just threw my hands out and went the other way," Chigbogu said. "That's where a lot of my power is, the other way."
When Chigbogu came up again -- against David Trexler with Joe Meggs on first in the seventh -- a third homer was the farthest thing from his mind.
"When you hit a home run, it's just like reading a book and you have to just flip to a new page, forget the home run," he explained. "I wasn't even thinking about a home run."
Nonetheless, he swatted another one out of the yard, again going to right field.
"Today was a great day. I felt good," the Missouri native said. "I was seeing the ball really well today, just going up to every single at-bat, thinking, 'See the fastball, hit the fastball.' That's what I've been doing throughout the season, and I hope to keep on doing it."
Raptors first baseman Cody Bellinger, playing his first game since sustaining a shoulder injury on June 18, went 3-for-4 with a solo homer, two doubles and three runs scored.
Ryan Jones was 4-for-4 with a pair of doubles and two runs scored for Great Falls.
Josh Jackson is a contributor to MiLB.com.