OGDEN, UT - For over 50 games of the 2019 season, every game played by the Ogden Raptors had ended in the prescribed nine innings (or fewer). Facing the Missoula Osprey at Lindquist Field for the first time, however, the Raptors saw the madness of extra innings for the first time.
The Raptors fell behind on an error in the top of the 11th but scored twice in the home half to walk-off and win, 4-3, against the Osprey, who entered the night tied for first in the North division second-half standings.
In a quick game that saw the first nine innings played in just over two hours, neither team could gain the upper hand and the ninth ended in a 2-2 tie.
The 10th went by scoreless, but in the 11th Missoula benefitted from an error by Jimmy Titus to start the frame and then a two-out dropped grounder by Titus to score the tiebreaking run.
Titus stayed calm and didn't try to do too much to make up for his errors when he came to the plate in the bottom of the 11th with Brandon Lewis on third base. Titus lashed the first pitch he saw over the left fielder and off the base of the wall for a long single to score Lewis and tie the game again.
With two out and Titus still on first, Sauryn Lao hammered the ball to the warning track in straightaway center field. Missoula's center fielder couldn't catch up, and Titus sprinted all the way around from first base to cross the plate and end the game.
Ogden went on the board first, with Lewis hitting a leadoff double in the fourth inning and Titus driving him in with a two-base hit of his own.
The Osprey came back in the sixth, as a bunt single opened the frame and a double with two out drove in the run. Thanks to an error on the play, the batter also came around and scored by knocking the ball out of catcher Ramon Rodriguez's glove on a slide for a 2-1 lead.
A seventh-inning rally for Ogden tied the game, but they squandered an opportunity to pick up more. Andrew Shaps reached on an error to lead off, and Lao was hit by a pitch. Jeremy Arocho's single loaded the bases with no outs for Cesar Mendoza, who grounded into a double play while Shaps scored to knot it up.
The Raptors received excellent pitching throughout the night. Jeronimo Castro started and completed a season-high seven innings with five strikeouts. Jeff Belge pitched the eighth and ninth and struck out five batters among the seven he faced. Nick Robertson entered for the 10th as the extra-innings rule was implemented, with a runner placed on second base to start the frame, and he struck out all the batters he faced on 11 pitches to strand the runner on second.
Ogden had a chance to score in the bottom of the 10th, but a bunt was caught out of the air and the throw doubled the runner off second.
Corey Merrill pitched the 11th for the win, but it came with stress. The leadoff batter grounded to third and Titus couldn't pick it up, putting runners on the corners. Merrill struck out the next batter and induced a grounder to Titus, who threw home to retire the batter trying to score from third. The next ball, with runners on the corners, was also hit to Titus and appeared it would end the inning, but the second error allowed the Osprey to pick up their run.
The win ends Ogden's second losing streak of the season at two games. The Raptors and Osprey play game two of their four-game set Tuesday at 7:00 PM.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.