Late Home Runs Sink Raptors

Clinching playoff spot will have to wait at least one more day after Rockies barrage

Ramon Rodriguez scored twice as the Raptors fell by one (Kevin Johnson)

By Andrew Haynes / Ogden Raptors | September 4, 2017 8:27 PM


The Ogden Raptors entered Monday's matinee at Grand Junction needing just a victory to clinch a playoff spot for the second-straight year.

The Raptors came close, but two late Rockies home runs put off the party at least one day thanks to a 7-6 win by the hosts.

With Ogden in a 6-5 lead after a Connor Heady leadoff blast in the seventh, Grand Junction's Chad Spanberger opened the eighth with a fly ball that carried over the center field fence. Todd Czinege followed with a long drive just inside the foul pole down the left field line for the deciding run.

The Rockies went on top with a two-out rally in the first, plating two runs, and added a run on a home run in the second.

Ogden loaded the bases in the third with one out after Heady singled, Ramon Rodriguez was hit by a pitch and Romer Cuadrado walked. Mitchell Hansen fell behind in the count, 0-2, but worked a walk to force in a run. Carlos Rincon, who drove in six runs in Sunday's 14-12 win, bounced down the line to third. The throw to the plate was wild as Rodriguez scored, and Cuadrado was close behind to tie the game when the ball got away.

The Raptors took a brief lead when Rodriguez was again pegged by a pitch in the fifth, Donovan Casey singled and Cuadrado's line drive single to center hit a bump in the grass and shot off the glove of Grand Junction's center fielder to score both preceding runners.

A Casey Golden home run tied the game again two batters in to the bottom of the fifth.

Heady's home run, his fifth of the season, was Ogden's 101st of the 2017 campaign. They broke the Pioneer League single-season record on Sunday, but Grand Junction's four homers Monday gave the Rockies the advantage with 103 in deciding who sets the new standard.

Ogden and Grand Junction play one more time in Colorado, a 6:40 start on Tuesday. After that, the Raptors host the Rockies twice. Just one Ogden win ensures Grand Junction cannot win the second half, and with Orem having clinched the first-half title, the Raptors would clinch a playoff spot.

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

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