Friday and Saturday in Orem, the Ogden Raptors carried large leads into the bottom of the ninth, watched the Owlz stage a comeback and put the potential tying run on base, and finally closed out the victories with clutch pitching.
The story repeated itself Tuesday night at Lindquist Field. Ogden trailed early, scored five in the seventh and came out with a 12-9 win to pull into another first-place tie with the Owlz in the second half standings.
A night after the Raptors nearly pulled off a comeback after trailing by as many as six, only to lose by one, Ogden went down by multiple runs early in the game. A two-out Owlz single scored two runs in the third, but Samuel Ortiz lifted a drive over the left-field fence in the bottom of the third, his second home run of the season, to put the Raptors on the board.
Orem scored three runs on three hits, an error and a wild pitch in the fourth for a 5-1 advantage.
Rylan Bannon was hit by a pitch leading off the home half of the fourth. Luis Paz lined a single to right to move Bannon to third, and Romer Cuadrado hit into a fielder's choice, beating out the double-play throw, as Bannon scored. Cuadrado stole second and scored on a Gersel Pitre single, followed by another steal and Pitre advancement to third base on a groundout. Garrett Hope then laced a double to right-center to bring the Raptors within one and scored to tie the game as Ortiz's grounder was misplayed by the Orem first baseman.
Orem went back ahead the very next inning on a double, walk, single and sac fly.
Trailing, 7-5, into the bottom of the sixth, Pitre grounded to third and saw it skip by for an error. Brayan Morales doubled inside the bag at third to put both in scoring position. After a two-out walk to Ortiz loaded the bases, Eric Peterson bounced a seeing-eye single up the middle to score both and tie the game.
Bannon led off again the seventh and singled up the middle. Paz ripped a line drive double to left-center and Bannon sprinted around the bases to give the Raptors the lead, and they weren't close to done. Paz was picked off second, but Cuadrado drew a walk and Pitre singled to right in a hit-and-run. Morales reached on an error that scored Cuadrado. Hope stroked his second double of the game, this one to drive in two, and Ortiz brought Hope around with a single to right.
Ogden took a 12-7 lead into the ninth, but Orem took two walks and a single to load the bases before a sacrifice fly scored a run. A two-out single brought in another and a walk brought the potential go-ahead run to the plate, but Devin Hemmerich came on to strike out the number nine hitter for his first professional save.
The Raptors now head off to Idaho Falls for four games in a first-place tie with Orem. The Owlz host Grand Junction, who walked off on the Chukars to pull within one game of first.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.