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Ogden Raptors end spirited series in Missoula by leaving bases loaded in 8-7 loss

By Brett Hein - Standard-Examiner | Jul 24, 2022

Eugene Morgan, Ogden Raptors

Ogden Raptors second baseman Dakota Conners, right, slides into second base as a Missoula PaddleHeads infielder tries to make the tag Saturday, July 23, 2022, in Missoula, Mont. (Eugene Morgan, Ogden Raptors)

The Ogden Raptors’ six-game series in Missoula to open the second half of the Pioneer League season was, in almost every game, a back-and-forth week of baseball.

It culminated in the best game of the series yet, another contest with several lead changes that ended when the Raptors left the bases loaded in the top of the ninth, falling 8-7 to the Paddleheads on Sunday afternoon.

The decision gives a 4-2 series win to Missoula (39-14, 4-2) and is only the second series this season Ogden (31-23, 2-4) has lost.

Most of the action Sunday took place in the third and fourth innings.

League-leading home run hitter Jayson Newman slugged his 23rd homer in the bottom of the third to help Missoula to a 3-0 lead.

An error from Missoula shortstop McClain O’Connor helped jumpstart a big fourth inning for Ogden, bringing across two runs to start the rally. Dustyn Macaluso was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, Pat Adams later singled in two runs and Josh Broughton scored on a wild pitch to put the Raptors ahead 6-3.

The PaddleHeads immediately reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the fourth, a four-run frame capped by a two-run double from Lamar Sparks for a 7-6 lead. That ended Riley Ottesen’s start for Ogden; he allowed seven runs on eight hits in four innings of work.

Dylan Pearce pitched three strong innings in relief but surrendered what proved to be a big RBI double to Kamron Willman in the sixth inning to put Missoula up 8-6.

Ogden struggled to generate any offensive threats outside the six-run fourth until its last at-bat. Adams led off the top of the ninth with a walk and Jesus Valdez followed with a single.

After Reese Alexiades lined out, Freddy Achecar hit his second double of the day, driving in Adams to make it 8-7.

Missoula then issued an intentional walk to Dakota Conners, loading the bases with one out and putting it on the shoulders of Sam Hellinger to pitch out of it for a two-inning save.

And that he did. Hellinger struck out Andrew Noviello and Brandon Bohning, both swinging, to leave the bases loaded and end the game.

Achecar and Bohning were the Raptors’ multiple-hit batters, each totaling two. Adams drove in two runs.

Willman and Sparks led the PaddleHeads at the plate with three RBIs each.

Ogden travels home Monday before opening a six-game home series against the Boise Hawks at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 26, at Lindquist Field.


Missoula 8, Ogden 7

Boise 18, Grand Junction 14

Rocky Mountain 7, Northern Colorado 1

Billings 2, Great Falls 0

Idaho Falls 9, Glacier 6


Second Half


Idaho Falls 5-1 (32-22 overall)

*Missoula 4-2 (39-14)

Great Falls 3-3 (30-23)

Billings 3-3 (28-24)

Glacier 1-5 (18-35)


Grand Junction 4-2 (30-24)

Rocky Mountain 3-2 (19-32)

Northern Colorado 2-3 (19-31)

*Ogden 2-4 (31-23)

Boise 2-4 (19-35)

*- denotes first-half champion


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