GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. -- The Ogden Raptors made an entertaining effort to scramble out of a big 9-0 hole, but in the end fell to the Grand Junction Rockies 11-6 to open the 2013 Pioneer League season on Thursday night.
Down 6-0, the Raptors finally cracked the scoreboard in the fifth inning, pushing across a run thanks to a Brandon Trinkwon triple followed by a Jesmuel Valentin double.
Then in the sixth, Ogden put a scare into the Rockies and the home crowd at Sam Suplizio Field, recording back-to-back-to-back home runs, followed by a fourth homer later in the same inning to cut the lead to 9-6.
But the Rockies got a pair of runs back in the bottom of the inning, and the Grand Junction pitching staff held Ogden off the scoreboard the rest of the way to record the win.
The teams meet again tonight at Suplizio Field.
Ogden's home opener is Saturday at Lindquist Field with a 7 p.m. expected first pitch.
Scott Barlow took the loss for the Raptors. The opening-night starter gave up six runs on six hits, but Ogden's defense didn't help matters with four fielding errors.
Both teams cracked 13 hits, but Ogden saw scoring chances cut down, literally, by Grand Junction right fielder Ryan Garvey. The son of former Ogden Dodgers and L.A. Dodgers Hall of Famer Steve Garvey threw a pair of Ogden base runners out at the plate, both to end innings in the early going.
Zachary Jemiola picked up the win for Grand Junction. He went five innings, allowing a run on six hits with five Ks.
But Grand Junction sent Jordan Mejia to the mound to open the sixth, and Ogden made things interesting.
Austin Cowen belted a long home run to left field. The next batter, Alex Santana, cracked a shot to center field that the outfielders were unable to corral, and Santana cruised the bases for an inside-the-park home run.
With the crowd still buzzing, the Raptors' Pat Stover stepped up and hit and opposite-field homer to right field.
After a pop-up out, Trinkwon smacked a double and Valentin popped a two-run shot to right field.
The Raptors left two more base runners stranded later in the inning. In all, they left eight runners on base
Valentin, Santana, Stover, Jacob Scavuzzo and Trinkwon each had a pair of hits for Ogden.
Santana is in his second season with the Raptors along with four others: pitchers Sawil Gonzalez and Jonathan Martinez, catcher Cowen and infielder Jesus Valdez will all be in their second season in Ogden.
Raimell Tapia had four hits for the Rockies, while Emerson Jimenez added three hits and three RBIs. Jimenez homered in the second inning. Garvey and Ryan McMahon each added a pair of hits. Four relievers helped the Rockies pick up the opening win.
These two teams battled to a near tie in the South Division standings in 2012, with Ogden edging Grand Junction 2-1 in their playoff series.
The Raptors then lost the Pioneer League championship to the Missoula Osprey, 2 games to 1.