Orta’s shutout leads Ogden Raptors in Friday doubleheader bashing of NoCo Owlz
Coming down the stretch of the first-half division race, the Ogden Raptors posted two big victories on the road Friday, winning both games of a daytime doubleheader against the Northern Colorado Owlz by a combined score of 23-2.
That improves Ogden’s record to 23-17 with eight games left in the first half. The Raptors hold a 2 1/2-game lead over Grand Junction (20-19) in the Pioneer League South Division prior to Friday’s schedule of night games.
The Raptors and Owlz finish their six-game series with another daytime doubleheader scheduled to start at 11:30 a.m. Saturday. Ogden then has Sunday and Monday off as it returns to host the Rocky Mountain Vibes from July 12-17 to finish the first half.
RAPTORS 11, OWLZ 0
Ronny Orta was scintillating on the hill for Ogden, throwing a seven-inning, complete-game shutout while allowing three hits, striking out six and walking one in Friday’s second game in Greeley, Colorado.
The right-hander picked up his fifth win of the season and lowered his ERA to 4.33.
Dustyn Macaluso got the scoring started with a solo homer in the third and Andrew Noviello made it 2-0 with an RBI single in the fourth.
Outfielders Reese Alexiades and Brian Dansereau each added run-scoring singles in the fifth to put the Raptors up 4-0.
Ogden used a station-to-station approach in the sixth, putting the game away with seven runs. Macaluso and Broughton started the rally with bases-loaded walks. Pat Adams hit a sacrifice fly, and Alexiades, Dansereau, Freddy Achecar and Dakota Conners followed with RBI singles.
RAPTORS 12, OWLZ 2
In Friday’s first game, Riley Ottesen was nearly as strong as Orta would be to follow, picking up a win for Ogden by allowing one run on three hits, striking out seven and walking one in a start of 4 2/3 innings.
Chase Stratton recorded the final out of the fifth via pickoff, Jake Mulholland added a scoreless sixth and the Owlz pushed across one run against Miguel Cirino in the seventh.
The Raptors again built a small lead before breaking it open late.
That began with an unusual baseball feat in the fifth inning. Josh Broughton and Pat Adams hit consecutive triples to centerfield, scoring Broughton to make it 2-0. After Reese Alexiades was hit by a pitch, Brian Dansereau hit his team’s third triple of the inning, then scored on a Jesus Valdez sacrifice fly for a 5-0 lead.
Valdez and Dakota Conners opened a seven-run seventh inning with run-scoring base hits, and more runs came via error, groundout and a bases-loaded walk.