Despite taking the first lead, the contest deteriorated quickly for the Ogden Raptors Monday night in Great Falls.
The Raptors scored twice in the third inning but were quickly overwhelmed, as the Great Falls Voyagers plated four in the bottom half, three in the fifth and seven in the sixth to run away with a 15-10 victory in the first game of three between the two teams.
The situation became so dire that the Raptors turned to infielder Brock Carpenter to pitch the eighth inning rather than using another pitcher. Carpenter ended up with the best performance by any Ogden pitcher on the night, striking out two while working around a two-out double in his scoreless frame. The appearance was Carpenter's first on the mound as a professional, but he wasn't a complete newcomer to the other side of the batter-pitcher faceoff: he pitched twice for Seattle University as a freshman in 2014.
After each team recorded two scoreless frames, Rylan Bannon and Ramon Rodriguez opened the third inning with consecutive hits. A Samuel Ortiz walk loaded the bases, and Mitchell Hansen knocked in the game's first run with a fielder's choice. Romer Cuadrado then lofted a fly ball to right field to bring in Rodriguez with the game's second run.
Great Falls answered with four in the home half, two coming with two outs. The Voyagers added one in the fifth to go up 5-2 but saw Ogden put together a two-out rally thanks to singles by Hansen, Cuadrado and Tyler Adkison to pull within one.
By the time the Raptors came to the plate in the sixth, they were trailing by four. The hosts strung together a walk and two hits to score one before a double play, but another single and a triple brought in two more runs.
Once again Ogden was nearly up to the challenge. In the top of the sixth, Donovan Casey led off with his second home run of the season. Ronny Brito followed with a single to right field, Bannon walked and Rodriguez laid down his second bunt single to load the bases. An error off the bat of Ortiz score Brito, and Hansen hit a sacrifice fly to left field to plate Bannon to bring the Raptors within one run at 8-7.
The wheels fell off for the visitors in the bottom half, however. A one-out home run was followed by a walk and two singles, a fielder's choice on which the Raptors didn't retire any runners, and a two-run base hit. After a pitching change, Francis Cespedes induced a grounder for the second out but hit a batter and walked another to force in a run. Finally, a line drive up the middle allowed two more runs to cross. When the dust settled, Great Falls had put up seven runs and broken open the game at 15-7.
Ogden's bats put together one more rally with two out in the eighth. Ortiz stepped up and blasted a solo shot to the opposite field, his first home run of the season. Hansen lined into right-center and hustled his way to a double before scoring on a Cuadrado single. An Adkison walk put Cuadrado in scoring position, and Luis Paz capitalized as his third hit of the game brought Cuadrado home.
Every member of the Raptors starting lineup notched at least one hit.
The loss dropped Ogden into a second-place tie with Grand Junction, two games behind the Orem Owlz early in the second half.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.