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GJ Rockies claim series from Ogden Raptors with big 5th inning Sunday

By Brett Hein - Standard-Examiner | Aug 7, 2022

After losing Saturday on a walk-off grand slam, the Ogden Raptors entered Sunday evening with a chance to grab a series split in Grand Junction.

But the second-half division leaders roughed up Raptors starter Christian Day for the second time this series, and the Rockies used a nine-run fifth inning to claim a 14-6 victory at Suplizio Field.

Ogden led 5-4 in the top of the fifth after catcher Kevin Elefante, a recent free-agent pickup who played for Idaho Falls earlier this season, doubled in a run to kick off a three-run second inning and scored Reese Alexiades on a sacrifice fly in the fifth.

But Day gave up consecutive two-run doubles in the bottom of the fifth to Casey Petersen and Shawn Ross, putting Grand Junction (39-27, 13-5) ahead 8-5. Day was ultimately charged with nine runs on 10 hits in four-plus innings.

Chase Stratton took over and couldn’t stem the tide for Ogden (38-28, 9-9), especially after an error from Josh Broughton at third base, and gave up three run-scoring singles. GJ ended the fifth inning with a 13-5 lead.

Ogden’s only pitcher to keep runs off the board was Dustyn Macaluso, a position player who pitched the final 1 2/3 innings, allowing two hits, striking out two and walking one.

Izzy Fuentes got the win on the mound for the Rockies, giving up five runs, but only two earned, in 5 2/3 innings. Petersen and Josh Elvir each drove in four runs.

Freddy Achecar hit 3 for 5 for Ogden, driving in one. Elefante led with his two RBIs.

Sunday’s game marks the final matchup between the two teams who have proven to be the two best in the Pioneer League South Division this season; the Rockies claimed an 11-7 advantage, with 14 of those 18 games contested in Grand Junction.

The Raptors return home for a 12-game homestand starting Tuesday, Aug. 9, with a six-game series against the Rocky Mountain Vibes.

SUNDAY SCORES

Grand Junction 14, Ogden 6

Rocky Mountain 16, Northern Colorado 12

Idaho Falls 12, Boise 4

Glacier 5, Billings 0

Great Falls 6, Missoula 5

PIONEER LEAGUE STANDINGS

Second Half

NORTH DIVISION

Idaho Falls 11-6 (39-26 overall)

*Missoula 10-8 (45-20)

Great Falls 10-8 (37-28)

Billings 8-10 (33-31)

Glacier 7-11 (24-41)

SOUTH DIVISION

Grand Junction 13-5 (39-27)

*Ogden 9-9 (38-28)

Northern Colorado 8-9 (25-37)

Rocky Mountain 8-9 (24-39)

Boise 4-13 (21-44)

*- denotes first-half champion

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