Raptors unravel in four-error sixth

Jun 25 2012 - 11:00pm

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(NICK SHORT/Standard-Examiner) Ogden’s Malcolm Hollard misses the tag as Idaho Falls’ Adalberto Mondesi slides into second base.
(NICK SHORT/Standard-Examiner) Ogden’s Malcolm Hollard misses the tag as Idaho Falls’ Adalberto Mondesi slides into second base.

OGDEN -- It was the sixth inning, and Ogden pitcher Carlos Frias was cruising along. He hadn't given up a hit since the first, and he had hardly thrown enough pitches to work up a lather.

How quickly things can fall apart.

Four Ogden errors in a three-run sixth allowed Idaho Falls (5-3) to spoil Frias' outing and take the series opener 8-6 Monday night at Lindquist Field. It was just the second loss of the season for Raptors, who lead Idaho Falls by one game in the Pioneer League South.

Locked in a 1-1 pitcher's duel in the top of the sixth, it was an innocent-looking grounder second baseman Malcolm Holland couldn't corral that proved to be the start of the undoing for the Raptors (6-2). Things only got sloppier from there, as three more errors led to three unearned runs that ended up being just enough cushion for the Chukars.

"Defensively, we've really got to clean it up," said Raptors manager Damon Berryhill. "We're seven games in, and we haven't gotten a clean one yet. Hey, we're going to make errors, but we've got to stay away from multiple errors."

The Raptors stormed back with five runs in the ninth, including a two-run single from Alex Santana, but they stranded the tying run on first base. After having come into the inning with just two hits, the Raptors strung together six of them in the ultimately doomed rally.

"We're going to go hard until the last out is made," Berryhill said. "Especially at this level, there's no reason to not. The ballparks are small pitching-wise. There's no reason to give up one at-bat."

Even with the disastrous sixth, it was Frias' second consecutive encouraging start to open the season. The 22-year-old gave up only six hits -- many of them soft -- and just one of the four runs he yielded in his six innings was earned.

The bats that had played such a big role in the Raptors 6-1 start to the season were absent. After coming in averaging over nine runs a game, the Raptors couldn't figure out Chukars starter Andrew Ferguson. The righty, Kansas City's 18th-round pick in 2011, was masterful in limiting the Raptors to just one run. In his six innings, Ferguson allowed just one hit, a long blast over the center field fence from Santana in the third.

"(Ferguson) was efficient with his pitches," said Santana, who went 2-for-4 and was the only Raptor to record more than one hit. "He knew our weaknesses, and we weren't really being aggressive. We were being passive, and he used that to his advantage."

The teams continue their three-game series tonight at 7 p.m. at Lindquist Field.

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