OGDEN - The Ogden Raptors clinched a berth in to the Pioneer League playoffs with a 14-4 win over the Idaho Falls Chukars Sunday at Lindquist Field.
The Raptors win, coupled with an Orem win over Grand Junction, clinched at least a tie in the second half between Ogden and Orem. Because the Owlz won the first half, the Raptors would get a playoff berth if the two teams were to tie.
The Raptors were trailing entering the bottom of the second after an RBI double by Samir Duenez in the first and a solo homer by Brandon Thomasson in the second by Idaho Falls. The Raptors were able to take the lead with three runs. Ivan Vela hit an infield single and moved to third on a double by Mike Ahmed. The newest Raptor, Alex Verdugo hit an RBI single to left to score Vela. After Verdugo stole second, Ahmed came home on an RBI groundout by John Cannon. Theo Alexander then doubled in Verdugo on a hit to right to give Ogden a 3-2 lead.
The Chukars tied it up on an RBI groundout in the top of the third, but the Raptors got the lead for good in the bottom half. Jimmy Allen and Cody Bellinger started the inning with consecutive doubles. After a wild pitch put Bellinger on third, Julian Leon drove him in on a groundball to second, giving the Raptors a 5-3 lead.
The Raptors bats stayed active Sunday. For the third straight game, the Raptors had at least 18 hits. Allen and Alexander each went 4-for-5 with two doubles. Alexander also drove in four runs.
Verdugo, in his Raptors debut, went 3-for-5 with a double and three RBI.
Brock Stewart, making his first career start, earned the win. In five innings, he allowed three runs, two earned, on four hits with six strikeouts.
Billy Flamion and Ryan Taylor finished the game with two innings each.
The Raptors and Chukars continue their three-game series Monday. Grant Holmes takes the mound for Ogden against Jake Newberry for Idaho Falls. Game starts at 7:00 and can be heard on 97.5 The Zone.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.