OGDEN -- The Ogden Raptors understood the importance of winning Tuesday's game.
Despite not having a chance to win the first-half season standings, the Raptors understood the importance of improving their record for the overall best record standings, and the thought to be playing the best baseball possible.
And, what looked like one game in the standings was played like a playoff game, as the Raptors outlasted the Grand Junction Rockies in a tightly contested offensive matchup, 13-11, in Pioneer League action at Lindquist Field.
"We swung the bats well, but we didn't pitch real well," Raptors manager Damon Berryhill said. "We made mistakes with fastballs, and they did what they're supposed to do."
The Raptors came out firing early, with Brandon Trinkwon hitting a leadoff double for Ogden in the bottom of the first inning. After Trinkwon was caught in a pickle for the first out, catcher Kyle Farmer hit a sacrifice fly-ball RBI to score Gerson Nunez, giving the Raptors a 1-0 lead after one inning.
The early Ogden offensive onslaught continued in the second inning, thanks to a leadoff home run by Justin Chigbogu. After the homer, both Alex Santana and Jacob Scavuzzo reached on singles, and Joey Curletta walked to load the bases. All three Raptor base runners would score to make the score 5-0 going into the third inning.
"Today, I was just calm and relaxed," said Chigbogu, who hit his third home run of the season. "When you're calm and relaxed, 95, 96 mile-per-hour fastballs are pretty easy for you, so I just took my time up at the plate."
The Rockies came right back though, scoring four runs in the inning off of a pair of two-run home runs -- one by right fielder Jordan Patterson, and the other by third baseman Ryan McMahon -- to cut the Raptors' lead to a single run.
The Rockies tied the score at five in the fifth inning, with Jose Briceno scoring on a Correlle Prime RBI double off reliever Jordan Hershiser.
The Raptors came right back though, with a Chibogu single scoring designated hitter Pat Stover, reestablishing an Ogden lead and ending the night of Rockies pitcher Peter Tago.
A pitching change did nothing to stop the Ogden momentum though, as Kyle Farmer and Chibogu scored on a Santana RBI triple. Another highlight play was Jesmuel Valentin's two-run home run to right-center field. All in all, the Raptors would score seven runs, bat through the lineup, and record four extra-base hits to take a 12-5 lead.
The Rockies would score a run in the seventh on a McMahon solo home run, and Ogden would answer in the bottom half of the inning, with Scavuzzo scoring on a Nunez single.
The Rockies would come back and score five runs in the eighth inning, including a mammoth two-run shot off the bat of Prime to cut the Raptor lead to two runs. However, the Raptors' Jacob Rhame retired the side in the ninth, and the Raptors held on for their third consecutive win to end the first half of the season.
"We need to do a better job of coming out of the bullpen," said Berryhill, in reference to the high scoring contest. "We've got to do a better job of coming in when we have the lead, and attacking the strike zone down in the zone. They did a good job hitting, as well."
Hershiser earned the win for Ogden, while Tago finished with the loss.
Offensively, the highlight performance came from Ogden's Jacob Scavuzzo, who finished 3-for-4 at the plate with three runs scored.
The Raptors and Rockies battle again tonight. Right-hander Victor Araujo will take the mound for Ogden, while lefty Helmis Rodriguez will throw for Grand Junction.