Tuesday , July 03, 2018 - 11:23 PM
OGDEN — Just as quickly as Kyle Kasser’s line drive skimmed past the foul pole in right field, the Ogden Raptors were in a bind they couldn’t escape.
What the Idaho Falls second baseman’s grand slam did was give the Chukars a 5-0 lead in the second inning, a lead that held in a 10-6 final score as the Raptors’ eight-game winning run ended in front of 3,364 fans.
But it didn’t end without Ogden making a run at it, as the Raptors have done this year.
Trailing 10-1 in the bottom of the eighth, the Raptors (12-7) scored five runs in the final two frames and had bases loaded with one out in the ninth of a 10-6 game.
They do stay in solo first place in the Pioneer League South, one game ahead of the same Chukars (11-8).
Many Ogden at-bats ended early in the count. Most of them came against Idaho Falls starter JC Cloney, who allowed one unearned run on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings.
By the time he left the game, the Chukars led 9-1 in the sixth inning.
“The hole that we kind of dug ourselves into was hard to get out of. Overall I thought our bullpen kept us in the game as much as we could stay in the game,” Raptors manager Jeremy Rodriguez said.
Andres Martin’s RBI single with the bases loaded in the second inning started the demolition, which No. 9 hitter Kasser accelerated with a line-drive grand slam that tucked just inside the right-field foul pole for a quick 5-0 Chukars lead.
Starting pitcher Brett De Geus had established himself early as one of Ogden’s reliable pitchers. He was 3-0 with a 2.40 ERA in 15 innings, to which Idaho Falls said, ‘No thank you, not today.’
Raptors catcher Ramon Rodriguez, coming off a 4-for-5 night on Monday, drove in the team’s first run with a sacrifice fly ball to center field that scored Daniel Robinson in the fourth.
It cut the lead to 6-1 and the Chukars promptly responded in the fifth with well-placed RBI doubles by Nathan Eaton and Brady Cox down the third-base line past a diving Jefrey Souffront.
When the lead was 10-1, infielder Gersel Pitre marked his Ogden season debut with a two-run single up the middle in the eighth before he pitched a scoreless ninth inning.
Dillon Paulson, Pitre and Ramon Rodriguez drove in runs on consecutive at-bats in the bottom of the ninth inning as Ogden made a charge with one out.
“When I played in college we gave up a nine-run lead in the ninth with two outs, so I’ve seen it before and it’s one of those things where it’s baseball and anything can happen,” Jeremy Rodriguez said.
The Raptors brought the score all the way back to 10-6 and Jefrey Souffront came to the plate with the bases loaded and one out, only to ground into a double play.
Ogden plays its next five games on the road at Grand Junction before coming back Tuesday, July 10, for a seven-game homestand against Missoula and Helena.
NEWS AND NOTES
Pitre, who was assigned to Ogden on Monday, made his Raptors season debut and batted 4 for 5 with three RBIs.
Outfielder Daniel Robinson has six multi-hit games in 12 contests this year after a 2-for-4 night Tuesday.
James Outman doubled in the eighth inning for his fourth hit of the year, the first non-home run of his career (his first three hits this season were all homers).
The Raptors had 11 base hits Tuesday, extending their streak of games with 10-plus hits to six games.
Pitcher Yeison Cespedes is back with Ogden after he was assigned to the Raptors from Single-A Great Lakes. Cespedes pitched five innings and allowed seven earned runs in five games after earning a call-up from the Raptors earlier this season.
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