The Ogden Raptors entered Friday night's game with a playoff spot in hand, but it was undecided whether they would be the second-half South division champion or the South wildcard.A 7-4 win over cellar-dwelling Idaho Falls, in addition to Grand Junction holding off the Orem Owlz, vaulted Ogden two games
The Ogden Raptors entered Friday night's game with a playoff spot in hand, but it was undecided whether they would be the second-half South division champion or the South wildcard.
A 7-4 win over cellar-dwelling Idaho Falls, in addition to Grand Junction holding off the Orem Owlz, vaulted Ogden two games above Orem with one to play in the regular season and secured the Raptors' second-straight second half title.
Idaho Falls went up in the second on a solo home run, but Ogden plated four in the third to go ahead for good. With one out, Donovan Casey crushed a pitch over the right fielder for a triple, and he scored when Romer Cuadrado beat out an infield single. Cuadrado stole second and took third on a Rylan Bannon seeing-eye single. Carlos Rincon knocked in one with a double to right before Gersel Pitre drove in Bannon and Rincon on a line drive to center.
The visiting Chukars climbed within one on a two-out, two-run triple in the fourth, but Brayan Morales used his legs to get a run back in the sixth after singling, stealing second and scoring on a Brock Carpenter bouncer into center. The game was brought again within one on two singles and a wild pitch in the top of the seventh.
In the bottom of the eighth, Morales hit another single - this of the infield variety. He again took second, his league-leading 26th robbery, and advanced to third when the throw sailed into center field. Carpenter drew a walk, and with two out Casey lined a double down the right field line to bring in the final tallies.
The play of the game was made by Bannon, manning the hot corner for the Raptors. Idaho Falls center fielder Amalani Fukofuka hit a one-hop smash down the third base line in the sixth and sprinted toward first. Bannon snagged the ball on a full dive, hopped to his feet and fired a laser across the diamond to retire the speedster by a half step.
Trevor Oaks made his second rehab start with Ogden and allowed just one run on three hits in three innings, striking out five without walking a batter. Jesus Vargas pitched four innings for the win in his first appearance with the Raptors, and Zach Hartman whiffed three in two scoreless innings for his third save.
The Raptors complete the regular season Saturday night at 6:30 against the Chukars before kicking off the playoffs Sunday at 4 pm by hosting the Orem Owlz.