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Boise ends Ogden’s season, Hawks top Raptors 8-7 in 12-inning playoff epic

By Brett Hein - | Sep 11, 2021

BRIAN WOLFER, Special to the Standard-Examiner

Ogden Raptors players Pavin Parks (13) and Jakob Goldfarb (23) celebrate Parks' first-inning home run against the Boise Hawks in the Pioneer League South Division championship playoff game Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, at Lindquist Field in Ogden.

OGDEN — After a two-year wait, all the trappings of playoff baseball were back at Lindquist Field on Saturday night.

A smaller crowd, but a boisterous one, including a healthy contingent of visiting fans, was hanging on every pitch of the Ogden Raptors’ game against the Boise Hawks in the Pioneer Baseball League’s Southern Division championship game, a one-game elimination round.

That crowd of 1,697 were treated to a 12-inning, roller-coaster epic. And with a tying run on third base and the winning run on second in the bottom of the 12th, Raptors star Jakob Goldfarb grounded to first base and couldn’t beat Boise’s Wladimir Galindo to the bag.

Galindo stepped on the base, sending the Hawks pouring out of their dugout and racing around the field. Boise’s first playoff berth since 2014 has them moving on to play the Missoula Paddleheads in the PBL’s championship series, while the Ogden Raptors are done for 2021.

Ogden raced to a 5-0 lead early in a start that shaped up exactly like they’d want with ace Nico Tellache on the mound.

After Goldfarb doubled and Reese Alexiades drew a walk in the first, Pavin Parks — who made several scintillating defensive plays at third base on the night — smashed a bomb over Raptor Ridge for a 3-0 lead.

Goldfarb doubled off Boise starter Matt Dallas again in the second, dropping a blooper just fair in the left-field corner, to score Andy Armstrong. Alexiades hit a sacrifice fly to score Josh Broughton and the lead was 5-0.

Through four innings, all Boise could manage against Tellache was a Galindo reaching poke on a fastball that just cleared Raptor Ridge, making it 5-1 after four innings.

BRIAN WOLFER, Special to the Standard-Examiner Boise Hawks starter Matt Dallas pulls back to throw a pitch against the Ogden Raptors during the Pioneer League South Division championship game Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, at Lindquist Field in Ogden.

It started to come apart in the fifth when Nate Fisbeck led off with a double for Boise, Tyler Jorgensen scored him on a slapped single through the left side, and Myles Miller hit a sac fly to score Hidekel Gonzalez for a 5-3 score.

Mitchell Miller took over on the mound and pitched out of further damage, but then gave up a two-run homer to Roby Enriquez in the sixth to tie it 5-5.

In the bottom of the sixth, Troy Dixon drew a walk, stole second, and scored on a Broughton double for a 6-5 Ogden lead.

In the top of the seventh, Jason Dicochea doubled and the Hawks threatened with runners on second and third with one out. Alejandro Rivero hit a sacrifice fly to score Byron Smith to tie it 6-6, and Dylan Pearce struck out Galindo to stop it there.

The Raptors put two on in the ninth when Goldfarb singled and stole second, and Dom Abbadessa pinch-hit for Alexiades and drew a walk. But Parks struck out and David Maberry popped out to second base.

For the playoffs, the PBL eschews its novel Knock Out home run derby tiebreaking format, so the game proceeded as normal into extra innings.

Boise took its first lead of the game, at 7-6, in the top of the 10th. Dicochea led off with a double, moved over to third on a groundout, and scored when Enriquez punched one through the left side.

Ogden should have won the game in the bottom of the 10th. Owen Taylor rocketed a double off the centerfield wall to lead off, then a pinch-hitting Raul Shah poked a liner down the first-base line for a double to score Taylor and tie it 7-7 — and give Ogden the winning run in scoring position with no outs.

Catcher Niko Pacheco came on to run for Shah and moved to third on a Dixon sacrifice bunt. Armstrong was intentionally walked to set up a force but took second unchallenged with Josh Broughton at the plate.

Broughton had shown bunt early in the at-bat but later took swings. Then, inexplicably, on a 1-2 count, Broughton — the league’s second-best hitter with a .405 average — laid down a bunt.

It bounced hard toward the mound and pitcher Connor Dand corralled it. As inexplicable as the bunt was that Pacheco broke for home on contact, and he was hung out to dry. He tried to throw on the brakes midway down the line, hurt his knee and crumpled to the ground, and Dand easily tagged him out.

With 24 homers to his name, Goldfarb was issued an intentional walk to load the bases with two outs. Abbadessa, acquired in a second-half trade with Great Falls as one of the league’s better position players, struck out in three pitches. And the game marched on.

After an uneventful 11th, Rivero bounced an infield single up the middle against Raptors reliever Kida De La Cruz to lead off the top of the 12th. Mark Mixon relieved De La Cruz and uncorked a wild pitch, sending Rivero to second base.

Mixon struck out Galindo but, in a battle that took a long at-bat to a full count, Enriquez golfed a simple single to center, scoring Rivero for an 8-7 Boise lead.

With 1 out in the bottom of the 12th, Dixon drew a walk and Armstrong singled to left. Broughton one-hopped a screamer off the rear of reliever Mitch Lines, and was thrown out at first to advance the runners.

That brought up Goldfarb, who grounded to first to end Ogden’s season.

PREGAME COMMEMORATION

Before the teams and fans paused to remember the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania to start the game, Raptors team president Dave Baggott asked for another gesture.

It was the same two teams who opened the season May 22 at Lindquist Field, ushering in a new, independent era for the Pioneer League. That night, Baggott spoke over the public address system to recognize the status of these players and the league: left behind by Major League Baseball and its push to cut affiliated baseball out of dozens of American cities, but still playing for the love of the game and with a dream of finding their way back to affiliated baseball.

So Saturday night, Baggott again recognized those facts while the two teams met behind home plate to shake hands, congratulating each other on a successful season.

They then paused with the crowd for an 11-second moment of silence to commemorate the victims of 9/11, and Brent and Richard Hales played a beautiful rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner on violin and guitar.

WHAT’S NEXT

Missoula and Boise will vie for the 2021 championship in the Pioneer League’s first independent season. Ogden should play again in May 2022.

The Northern Colorado Owlz, moved from Orem, and a team in Kalispell, Montana, join the league next season. The 10-team league will bring yet-to-be-determined changes to division alignments and postseason format.

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