Raptors Walk-Off with First Half Title

Ogden Will Have Homefield Advantage Throughout Playoffs

July 27, 2012 9:15 PM

OGDEN - Pat Stover hit a walk-off single to give the Ogden Raptors an 8-7 win over the Orem Owlz in 10 innings and their fourth straight first-half division title Saturday night at Lindquist Field.

With the game tied 7-7 in the 10th, Malcolm Holland walked and stole second to start the inning. Jeremy Rathjen then sacrificed Holland to third to put the winning run 90 feet away. Orem elected to intentionally walk Eric Smith and Jesus Valdez to load the bases. Stover then sent an 0-1 pitch off the wall in right, scoring Holland and giving the Raptors the 8-7 win.

The Raptors mounted a comeback by scoring two in the ninth inning to send the game into Ogden's first extra-inning affair of the season. Valdez led off the ninth with a single to left and moved to second on a wild pitch. After Stover walked, Corey Seager sacrificed the runners to second and third. Tae-Hyeok Nam hit a grounder to second base. Sherman Johnson dived to his left to stop the ball from going into right, but his throw to first sailed wide of first and allowed Valdez and Stover to score and tie the game 7-7.

The Grand Junction Rockies won against the Idaho Falls Chukars Saturday. Ogden had to win to force a tie at the top of the Southern Division standings. Ogden's 8-0 record against the Rockies broke the tie and gave the Raptors the first half title.

The Raptors have made the Pioneer League Playoffs for the fifth straight season, winning the first half in the last four. Ogden will host Games 2 and 3, if necessary, in both the Divisional and Championship Rounds in September.

Craig Stem earned the win in relief, pitching a shutout 10th inning, but the pitcher of the night for the Raptors was Gregg Downing. The lefty pitched two shutout innings, allowing just one hit and k'ing four.

Stover finished the game with three hits, all singles, and two RBIs. Rathjen also finished with three singles and Corey Seager had the only extra-base hit with a double in the first.

The Raptors stormed out to a 4-0 lead in the early innings. Ogden scored three in the first on five straight hits, capped by Seager's double and one in the second on an RBI single by Rathjen.

The Raptors and Owlz will start the second half with a game Sunday. Lindsey Caughel will make his first start with the Raptors against Gabriel Perez for Orem. Game starts at 4:00 and can be heard on 97.5 Fox Sports Radio.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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