OGDEN -- So what if it's only 15 games into the season, it's never too early to talk about Triple Crown possibilities, especially when you're off to the kind of start Ogden's Jerry Sands is having.
With one swing of the bat, a second-inning grand slam, Sands vaulted into the league lead in RBIs and home runs. The Raptors' designated hitter entered Wednesday night's clash against Great Falls already leading the Pioneer League in batting with a .458 average, and when the dust finally settled in a 19-2 Raptors rout over the Voyagers, Sands went 2-for-4 with five RBIs.
Sands wasn't alone in an Ogden fireworks display that featured seven extra base hits, including four home runs. Brian Ruggiano, playing in just his second game with the Raptors, reached base safely in all six plate appearances that included a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth. Austin Yount followed Ruggiano's blast with his first home run of the season.
"Our guys are doing a great job of getting their bats going the last week," said Ogden manager Damon Berryhill. "We're here to win games, not just player development. We have a lot of talent on this team and we just need to keep it going."
Also providing spark to the offense were Angelo Songco and J.T. Wise. Songco went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles and two RBIs while Wise had three hits, including a towering three-run blast in a seven-run fourth inning that blew the game wide open.
Lost in the offensive fireworks was a stellar pitching performance by Luis Vasquez who picked up his first win of the year. Vazquez allowed four hits in five innings pitched, and the only run scored off the lanky right-hander was unearned. The lone tally came in the top of the fourth after the Raptors were already comfortably in front, 6-0. Vasquez' ERA also dropped nearly four full points to a bit more respectable 5.93.
"Luis (Vazquez) battled through five innings. He has a big league arm and he just needs time to develop it," Berryhill said. "We have so many guys that have been doing a good job for us this year. A lot of these guys have big league talent as well. Our pitching has been doing well all year and hopefully we can keep it going."
Luis Ferreras and Steven Ames were equally impressive in relief. Ferreras gave up just one hit in two innings of relief and Steven Ames also yielded one hit in an inning of work.
The 19 runs are a season high for the Raptors who banged out 18 hits on the night and scored in all but two innings. The Raptors led 6-0 after erupting for five runs in the second inning, and put the game out of reach with seven in the fourth, two in the fifth and two more in the sixth. They closed out the scoring with another two-run rally in the eighth.
The victory evened the four-game series with the Voyagers at one game apiece, and allowed Ogden to improve to one game over .500.