GREAT FALLS, Mont. — Another 6-5 loss to the Voyagers will make the Ogden Raptors glad to be putting Great Falls in the rear view mirror.
Ogden’s rally fell just short in a tought Pioneer League loss to Great Falls Sunday afternoon at Centene Stadium.
Trailing 6-4 entering the ninth, the Raptors nearly came back to post the thrilling win.
Malcolm Holland reached on a fielder’s choice for the second out of the ninth. Holland then stole second, and Eric Smith was walked. Holland then stole third and came home on a throwing error by the catcher, Zac Fisher. Devin Shines then singled to right, moving Smith to third, and Shines went to second on the throw.
But with the tying run on third and the go-ahead run at second, Jesus Valdez grounded out to third to end the game.
The loss, combined with Grand Junction’s 17-7 loss at home to Missoula, keeps the Raptors in first place in the South Division with an 18-15 record. Grand Junction is a game back at 17-16, while Orem is at 16-16 as it plays xxxxxxx Sunday.
Raptors starter Carlos Frias (3-3) took the loss, while Voyagers reliever Christopher Beck was credited with the win on the mound.
Micah Johnson and Thomas McCarthy had two its apiece for Great Falls, which won the season series with Ogden 5-2.
The Raptors move on to play the Helena Brewers tonight, with just five games remaining in the first half of the Pioneer League season.
The winner of the first half earns a spot in the postseason, so the Raptors — who have been in first place in the South nearly all year — will look to maintain the edge.
After three games with Helena, Ogden finishes up the first half at home for two games against Orem.
Great Falls leads the North Division with a 22-11 mark.
The Raptors jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first frame. Holland walked and stole second to start the game. Smith then tripled him home and scored on a groundout by Shines, giving the Raptors a 2-0 lead.
Pat Stover hit his first career homer Sunday. The right fielder hit a solo homer in the eighth inning out to left field.
Holland stole a season-high four bases. Shines, Stover and Alex Santana each finished with two hits in the loss.
Lefty Jake Hermsen will start for the Raptors against Ryan Gibbard.