OGDEN -- Scheduling more games with the Helena Brewers isn't going to happen, but you can't blame the Ogden Raptors for wishing so.
The Raptors made it a perfect 4-for-4 against the Brewers this year--including a three-game sweep in Helena last week--with a come-from-behind 7-3 victory Wednesday night at Lindquist Field.
Playing its first game at home after a successful 5-2 road trip, Ogden roughed up Helena pitching for 13 hits, but in the end it was the long ball that made the difference.
More particularly it was Nick Akins' long ball that put Ogden in front and ignited the victory.
With the game knotted at 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth, Akins sent Helena starter Stosh Wawrzasek to the showers with a monster shot over the left-field wall with Jake Lemmerman and Jonathan Garcia aboard.
Helena broke into the scoring column first in the third inning on a Robbie Garvey RBI single that plated Carlos George who doubled down the left-field line with one out. The lead was short-lived however as Ogden jumped in front in its share of the inning on Bobby Coyle's two-run blast over the right-field wall with Pedro Guerrero on second.
It was Coyle's second home run of the year.
Things remained relatively quiet until the top of the sixth when the Brewers tied the game at 2-2, setting the stage for Akins' third round tripper of the season.
The Brewers got to Ogden pitching for 12 hits and six walks, but stellar plays by the Raptors defense squelched threats that could have turned the game around.
The first came in the fourth inning when the Brewers had a chance to tie the game on a double by Gerald Ogrinc to the base of the right-centerfield wall with Mike Walker aboard and two outs. Walker tried to score on the play, but Garcia, playing right field, made a perfect relay throw to second baseman Pedro Guerrero who threw out Walker at the plate.
The Brewers put together another threat in the eighth inning, but an outstanding inning-ending double play started by Lemmerman at short, put an end to the rally.
Lemmerman fielded a slow roller, tagged second for the force and threw a laser to Blake Dean at first to complete the twin killing.
Ogden picked up two more runs in the bottom of the eighth to ice the game. Mike Pericht, who leads the Pioneer league with nine home runs--three more than his nearest competitor--led off the inning with a line-drive double to left, and scored the first run of the frame on Garcia's single to right. Garcia scored later in the inning when Dean doubled to left-centerfield.
The Brewers failed to go away quietly by putting three runners on in their last at bat. But another double play put an end to the rally. Ogden finished the contest with three crucial double plays.
Ogden starter Red Patterson did not factor in the decision and remains perfect at 3-0. Logan Bawcom picked up the victory in relief.
The Raptors improved to a league best 18-12 and maintained their lead over Casper and Orem in the South Division. The Raptors and Brewers resume their four-game set tonight at Lindquist Field at 7 p.m.
Raptors Notes: Every position player for the Raptors had at least one hit. Leon Landry, Pericht, Garcia and Dean had a pair of hits each.... In addition to the two home runs, Ogden had five doubles, two by Dean....The Raptors, who lead the Pioneer League in attendance, drew 3,620 to the park Wednesday night....Ogden reduced its magic number to win the first half title to six.