Fast start fizzles: Raptors' bats go silent after 3-run first inning

Thursday , March 06, 2014 - 12:52 PM

Gentry Reinhart

OGDEN — Ogden logged a three-run first inning on Monday night before the bats went cold and Helena put up eight straight runs, handing the Raptors their third consecutive loss under the lights at Lindquist Field.

The Brewers once again hammered Ogden pitchers, notching 14 hits in their 8-3 win.

Ogden belted nine hits of their own but failed to convert, stranding five, and going 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

“We’re just not competing very well,” Ogden Manager Damon Berryhill said. “We’re not accepting what the pitcher is giving us, and just trying to create too much. We’re getting our hits, but they’re just spread out and we’re not taking advantage of what they’re giving us.”

For the third-straight game the Ogden offense got started early, thanks to an RBI single from Justin Chigbogu that scored Brandon Trinkwon, followed by a two-out, two-run shot from Jesus Valdez that gave the Raptors a 3-0 lead in the first.

Helena countered with a pair of runs in the top of the second with a leadoff homer from Dustin Houle (his first of the season), and a stand-up triple from Nathan Orf that scored Angel Ortega, who reached with a base hit to center field.

J.D. Underwood got his first start on the mound for the Raptors on Monday evening and gave up a pair of runs on four hits while logging a strikeout. Luis De Paula took over in the fourth and the Ogden bullpen saga continued as the lefty gave up two quick runs, putting the Brewers up 4-3.

De Paula gave up another run in the fifth and drew a few scattered boos from the crowd after a pair of mishandled routine grounders.

On the other side of the ball, Helena starter Zach Quintana held the Raptors scoreless after the first until he was pulled in the sixth inning. Quintana finished with a trio of strikeouts, while giving up three runs on six hits.

Errors cost Ogden on Monday night as the Raptors logged a season-high five throughout the game. The effort also marked their fourth outing of the season with four or more errors.

“Physical mistakes I can live with at this level because I know they’re going to make them,” Berryhill said. “But at least three of these were routine plays. Mentally you have to be in the game at all times, and sometimes those physical mistakes come from not being mentally prepared.”

Helena tacked on two more in the eighth making it 8-3, and that’s the way it would stay, as Ogden couldn’t find the rally bats before the final out.

Helena leads the series 3-0 ahead of tonight’s series finale at Lindquist Field set for 7 p.m. with fireworks to follow.

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