Friday , July 06, 2018 - 10:13 PM
The Ogden Raptors remain hot, but their 11th win in 12 games came a little differently Friday.
The Raptors again raced to a big lead, nearly gave it all up and then held on late for an 11-9 victory at Grand Junction for their third straight win over the Rockies.
Ogden (15-7) has been explosive offensively, outscoring opponents 113-48 in the previous 11 games and having now reached double-digit hits in nine straight games.
It took only three innings for the Raptors to again tally double-digit hits and race to a huge lead after defeating the Rockies 22-7 and 14-5 to open the series.
Friday it was outfielder Drew Avans who keyed the barrage. On the ninth pitch of his first at-bat, he roped a triple to left field to drive in a run as part of a six-run first inning, giving starter Kevin Malisheski a 6-0 cushion before he took the mound.
Avans then blasted a 439-foot solo moonshot in the third inning — and Gersel Pitre hit his own solo homer — to put Ogden ahead 9-1 midway through the third.
But Grand Junction (9-13) fought back, answering with six runs in the bottom of the third, thanks to a two-run single from Grant Lavigne and a three-run homer from Franklin Garcia, making it 9-7.
Then, the Raptors got a rare defensive gut check.
After Ogden reliever Elio Serrano pitched a perfect seventh inning to maintain a 9-8 lead, he ran into trouble in the bottom of the eighth.
Niko Decolati singled, stole second and took third a wild pitch with no outs for Grand Junction. But Serrano recorded a strikeout, and Stephen Kolek took over to get another. He then induced Franklin Garcia into a groundout and the Raptors kept their 9-8 lead.
The Raptors added much-needed insurance runs in the ninth thanks to sloppy play from the Rockies. Jefrey Souffront walked, advanced to third on a wild pitch and a throwing error, and scored on an RBI single from Jacob Amaya. Amaya then scored on a wild pitch, a balk and another wild pitch for an 11-8 lead.
Zach Hall led off the bottom of the ninth for with a solo home run, but Kolek retired the Rockies in order after that to secure the win.
Connor Mitchell picked up the win for Ogden, throwing three innings of middle relief and giving up one run on one hit, striking out three and walking none.
Kolek earned the save in 1 2/3 innings. Ogden tagged Grand Junction starter Eris Filpo with the loss, scoring seven earned runs in 2 1/3 innings.
Amaya led the Raptors at the plate, hitting 4 for 6 and raising his season average to .356 and his on-base percentage to .486.
The two teams play the fourth of a five-game series Saturday.
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