Goldfarb’s 9th-inning homer lifts Ogden Raptors to win in Missoula
Another well-contested game against the Missoula Paddleheads went into the final inning close, but with the visiting Ogden Raptors again trailing.
But with one out in the top of the ninth inning and down one run, Ogden’s Jakob Goldfarb lifted a two-run homer to right field, boosting the Raptors to a 6-5 win Friday night in Missoula and ending a three-game skid.
Andy Armstrong, who led off the game with a solo homer, began the ninth with a single for Ogden. He was then forced out at second off the bat of Josh Broughton, whose speed beat out a potential double play — of which there were four total through the first three innings Friday — and set up Goldfarb’s dinger as a game-winner instead of a game-evener.
Goldfarb blasted the 2-1 pitch as a no-doubter over the taller wall in right field, good for his league-leading 10th of the season, and raised his right fist in celebration as he jogged down the line and watched the ball clear the fence.
Dylan Pearce pitched the final 2 1/3 innings for the Raptors (21-9), striking out two in the ninth to pick up the win.
Broughton and Armstrong combined to save Pearce in the eighth with plays in the field. With two on and one out, Missoula’s Cameron Thompson singled to right and the Paddleheads sent Dean Nevarez around third. Broughton recorded his second outfield assist in as many nights to nail Nevarez at the plate.
Brandon Riley nearly put Missoula (21-9) up two on the next at-bat, cracking a liner up the middle, which Armstrong met on a dive from his shortstop position to catch in the air for the third out.
Nico Tellache pitched a strong five innings in his start, pitching out of a bases-loaded jam with one out in the fourth to turn in a 1-2-3 inning in the fifth.
In the top of the sixth, the Raptors extended a 2-1 lead to 4-1 on an RBI single from Pavin Parks and when Armstrong drew a walk with the bases loaded. But Owen Taylor struck out and Broughton flew out with loaded bases to mitigate the rally.
Ogden sent Tellache back to the mound in the bottom of the sixth and paid. Zach Almond hit a leadoff homer and two more singles spelled the end of Tellache’s night without recording an out. Those two eventually came around to score when Sam Troyer doubled off Michael Agis to tie it 4-4, ending the books on Tellache.
Troyer then stole third and scored on a groundout to put Missoula up 5-4 through six innings, where it stayed until the ninth.
Grand Junction (14-16) lost to Great Falls, pushing Ogden’s lead in the Pioneer League South Division back to seven games.
Ogden and Missoula play the fourth game of their six-game set at 7:05 p.m. Saturday.