Hoenecke, Raptors hold on in Game 1

Caughel goes eight strong innings before Ogden rallies in 11th

By Danny Wild / MLB.com | September 7, 2012 2:39 PM ET

Paul Hoenecke is new in town with the Raptors and he's not done making a first impression.

Hoenecke singled home Noel Cuevas with the go-ahead run in the top of the 11th inning and Cesar Galvez was thrown out at the plate to end the game Friday as Ogden held off Grand Junction, 4-3, to win Game 1 of the best-of-3 Pioneer League semifinals.

Selected by the Dodgers in the 24th round of this year's Draft, Hoenecke was assigned to Ogden on Sept. 2. He went 1-for-5, but his only hit was the afternoon's biggest.

"I'm just happy to be here now," said Hoenecke, a designated hitter who was promoted earlier in the week from the Rookie-level Arizona League. "I have a hip injury and I'm just trying to grind it out, so this was a great game. I was happy to be a part of it, happy just to be on the team for it."

With the Rockies down to their final out in the 11th, Galvez headed home from third on a passed ball, but Raptors catcher Eric Smith got the ball to reliever Alan Garcia, who covered home just in time to tag Galvez and seal the win.

"It was a real close play at home, our catcher barely got there in time," Hoenecke said. "It was just a great game and a great way to end it."

Ogden hosts Game 2 on Saturday with a chance to advance to the Pioneer League Championship Series. Ross Stripling will face Grand Junction's Jayson Aquino.

The back-and-forth opener featured some late drama, highlighted by Hoenecke's go-ahead single in the top of the 11th. Cuevas drew a one-out walk against reliever Jesse Meaux and stole second for Hoenecke, who blooped a single to left, moments after the Rockies rallied in the bottom of the 10th to tie the game.

"I was trying to put the ball in play," said Hoenecke, a 22-year-old third baseman out of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. "Stay short, just try and do anything to help the team win and get the run in."

Hoenecke had only four at-bats for Ogden entering Friday and had played just once since Sept. 2. He hit .382 with five homers and 38 RBIs in 41 games in Arizona, earning the Dodgers' Pride Award in June for his "hustling, smart, aggressive style."

"It's really nice, I'm happy to be here, get moved up," he said. "I'm really just trying to help this team win. It's nice to be around guys your age, having a lot of fun."

Hoenecke struck out twice in his first four at-bats, but with Cuevas in scoring position and one out, he had to focus.

"It was 2-2, so I'm just trying to protect. I got a fastball low and away, it was a shot into left, it wasn't hit hard," he said. "But I was trying to protect in that situation."

Down to its final strike in the 10th, Grand Junction battled back when Pioneer League MVP David Dahl singled to put runners on the corners for Wilfredo Rodriguez, who delivered a game-tying single to right that chased reliever Owen Jones.

Ogden had briefly taken the lead in the top of the 10th when Smith drew a two-out walk, advanced to third on a pair of errors and scored on a passed ball by Michael Ramirez.

The Raptors took their first lead in the fourth on RBI doubles by Jesus Valdez and Corey Seager.

Grand Junction responded in the bottom half on Julian Yan's leadoff homer to center off Raptors starter Lindsey Caughel. The Rockies tied it three innings later when Matt Wessinger hit a leadoff single and scored from second on Jason Stolz's two-out base hit.

Caughel was the story for much of the afternoon as he held the Rockies to a pair of runs on eight hits over eight innings. A 23rd-round pick out of Stetson in June, he struck out four and did not walk a batter in his playoff debut.

"He was really good. He battled, attacked the hitters," Hoenecke said. "He makes them put the ball in play, he was throwing strikes and pitching great. I couldn't be happier for him."

Garcia (1-0) recorded the final four outs to earn the win.

Eddie Butler started for Grand Junction and was charged with two runs on six hits over six frames. He struck out six and walked a pair.

Both teams were more than familiar with each other heading into the series. Juan Ciriaco's walk-off double a night earlier sent Grand Junction past Ogden for its second walk-off win of the year in the regular-season finale.

In other Pioneer League action:
Missoula 8, Great Falls 3

Chris Pack allowed one run on six hits while striking out three over five innings as the Osprey took the opener of the best-of-3 North Division matchup.

Danny Pulfer, Breland Almadova and Pedro Ruiz led Missoula with two RBIs apiece. Pulfer smacked a two-run triple in the middle of a a five-run second inning.

Voyagers starter Christopher Beck was charged with six runs -- two earned -- on seven hits over four frames. Box score

Danny Wild is an editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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