After three-straight losses to the rival Orem Owlz, the Ogden Raptors were in desperate need of a comfortable win.Scoring 11 runs in the first three innings Saturday did the trick, as Ogden cruised to a 16-4 victory to avoid a four-game sweep and jump back into sole possession of first
After three-straight losses to the rival Orem Owlz, the Ogden Raptors were in desperate need of a comfortable win.
Scoring 11 runs in the first three innings Saturday did the trick, as Ogden cruised to a 16-4 victory to avoid a four-game sweep and jump back into sole possession of first place in the Pioneer League South division second-half standings.
Ogden's magic number also dropped to four, as they have clinched the tiebreaker over the Grand Junction Rockies and lead Grand Junction by three games with seven to play.
The Raptors' big hit Saturday night came off the bat of Rylan Bannon in the second inning. After Orem scored once and Ogden answered with three in the first, Bannon stepped up after a hit batter and two singles loaded the bases. Bannon unloaded on a 1-1 offering, hammering it high over the left field wall for his first grand slam of the season and 10th home run overall. It was the 97th home run of the Raptors' season, tying them with the 2011 Billings Mustangs for most round trippers by a team in a Pioneer League campaign. Ogden has seven games remaining to break the old mark and set a new standard.
Ogden added another run in the second after the slam and plated three with the help of four walks in the third. A two-out Gersel Pitre double followed by a Brayan Morales single in the fifth extended the lead to 12-1, and after Orem plated two unearned runs off winning pitcher Miguel Ureña in the sixth, the Raptors put up another three in the sixth.
Each team's final tallies came in the eighth.
Everyone in the Raptors' lineup contributed with at least one hit on the night. Donovan Casey had three hits and a walk, scoring three times from the leadoff spot. Bannon's grand slam was his only hit, but he drew three walks and scored four times. Romer Cuadrado doubled, drove in three and came across the plate twice. Mitchell Hansen, Morales and Kevin Lachance all singled, Pitre and Connor Heady rapped two hits, and Brock Carpenter had two hits, two walks and was hit by a pitch, leading to four runs.
Ogden starting pitcher Adalberto Peña turned in his second-straight solid start, allowing just three hits and one run in four innings. Ureña's three innings saw three hits and four strikeouts. Devin Hemmerich finished the game with five strikeouts and just one hit over two frames.
The Raptors now travel to Grand Junction for three games, needing two wins against the Rockies to clinch the second-half title and a playoff spot. The games Sunday and Tuesday will both start at 6:40, but Monday will feature a 1:00 pm first pitch on Labor Day.