OREM, UT - In the first inning of Friday's game between the Ogden Raptors and Orem Owlz, the visiting Raptors roped two doubles and scored twice.
That set the tone for a team trying to build momentum after plating a total of four runs over the previous two games. Ogden's offense continued hitting all the way through the ninth to put up a season high for runs scored in a 21-5 win.
The victory, number 54 on the season, tied the Pioneer League record for wins in a campaign. In the league's short-season history since 1964, only two teams - the 1985 Great Falls Dodgers and 2003 Provo Angels - had won 54 before this night.
Jon Littell put the Raptors on the board with a two-out, two-run double to right-center in the first, after Andy Pages had doubled.
Jeremy Arocho opened the second with a walk, Ramon Rodriguez lined a single and Andrew Shaps walked to load the bases. Jimmy Titus knocked in one with a groundout, Zac Ching single to score two and Sauryn Lao went deep to left for a two-run bomb and 7-0 lead.
The Owlz got a run back in the home half, but in the third Arocho tripled, Rodriguez walked and Pages lifted to home run to right field for a 10-1 advantage.
Littell scored in the fourth after a leadoff walk, but Orem pulled within seven with a three-run frame.
In the fifth, Pages obliterated a 2-1 offering, sending it out of the ballpark to left for his second blast of the game and 19th of the season. Ching followed with a walk and Lao with a double, allowing Littell to and Ismael Alcantara to drive in runs and make it 14-4.
The Raptors went silent from the sixth through eighth, while Orem picked up another run.
In the ninth, the Owlz put a position player on the mound and Ogden teed off again. Shaps lined his first hit of the game to kick off the frame, and he scored on pinch-hit triple by Imanol Vargas. Aldrich De Jongh, who had entered for Pages earlier in the game, beat out an infield single to score Vargas for a 16-5 lead. Eddys Leonard, who also came into the game a few innings before, walked, and with one out Littell lit into an offering for a home run, his fourth hit of the night, putting him at 6 RBI. Next was Alcantara, who hammered a shot to center for his second blast with the Raptors (and first over the fence, after an inside-the-park shot earlier in the week). Finally, Arocho launched a bomb to left, his first home run in two seasons playing for Ogden.
Raptors starter Jeisson Cabrera pitched well for three innings, striking out five, but was knocked out in the fourth. Mark Mixon pitched well through the fifth and Hunter Speer tossed two scoreless. Jacob Cantleberry stranded a leadoff hit in the eighth but walked a batter to start the ninth, and Raptors manager Austin Chubb, named earlier in the day as the Pioneer League's Manager of the Year, turned to Arocho. Arocho, who had made his professional pitching debut a week before in a blowout loss to Orem, recorded two fly outs before striking out a batter looking to end the game and finish off a successful, unique night.
The Raptors can break the league wins mark as they finish the regular season Saturday night at Orem; the game is scheduled for 6:35 PM. The playoffs begin Sunday at Grand Junction.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.