OGDEN — If you’re a fan of well-pitched games, the kind of person who gets misty-eyed just thinking about a pitchers’ duel, the Ogden Raptors and Missoula Osprey on Monday night might have had you shielding your eyes.
If you like offense, however, and believe that baseball is best when outfielders spend much of the game sprinting for balls in the gap, well, you may have been in ecstasies, as the Raptors hammered out a 15-9 win over the Osprey at Lindquist Field.
“The boys came out today, put some good at-bats together and swung it well,” said Raptors manager Damon Berryhill. “That was one of those games where we got some clutch hitting, and guys drove the ball all over the ballpark.”
Combined, the teams pounded 29 hits for their 24 runs, and there were over 40 total baserunners, including walks and hit batsmen. The Raptors scored in all but two innings.
After coming into the fourth inning trailing by four, the Raptors exploded for seven runs to take the lead for good. The first six batters of the inning all reached and scored, including Jesus Valdez, whose two-run double was the big blow of the inning.
Both starting pitchers were ineffective. Raptors left-hander Gregg Downing gave up eight earned before being lifted in the fourth, while Missoula’s Jared Ray allowed seven earned runs in three innings.
Jason West, who relieved Downing in the fourth, provided some order to the offensive chaos. The right-hander threw four scoreless innings, allowing the Raptors to build their lead.
“West saved the game for us, really,” Berryhill said. “Downing struggled in his first start for us a little bit, and West gave us a solid four (innings), which was exactly what our bullpen needed. We shut them down from that point on, and our offense took off from there.”
Bladimir Franco hit his first homer in 16 games with the Raptors in the sixth inning, while Corey Seager added a blast of his own in the seventh.
It was the sixth homer of the year for Seager, who was drafted in the first round this summer. The 18-year-old is hitting .309/.375/.503 (batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage) in what is turning out be a stellar first pro season.
Every member of the Raptors starting lineup recorded a hit, save for Justin Boudreaux, who contributed, nonetheless, with a sacrifice fly in the fifth.
Eric Smith had a four-hit game for the Raptors, and Malcolm Holland added three knocks, as well.
The two teams will meet again tonight for the second game of the four-game set, with first pitch at 7 p.m. at Lindquist Field.