Stellar Portela leads Ogden Raptors in 5-2 win at Idaho Falls
After two rough outings that included seeing a teammate suffer a severe injury, the Ogden Raptors got a boost Thursday night from a new face and got back in the win column.
Polo Portela took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and the Raptors defeated the Idaho Falls Chukars 5-2 in Idaho Falls to finish the Idaho leg of the six-game series, which now shifts to Ogden from Friday through Sunday.
Portela joined the team this week and made his first appearance for Ogden. He struck out three, walked two and ultimately allowed two runs on two hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Three of Idaho Falls’ four hits came in the sixth inning. With one out, Steve Barmakian got the Chukars’ first hit with a single. Portela struck out Matt Feinstein, then surrendered a double to Hunter Hisky. Miguel Cirino took over on the mound and surrendered a two-RBI double to Calvin Estrada, with both runs charged to Portela’s ledger.
Barmakian got the team’s fourth hit in the eighth inning, a single against Jake Mulholland. Evan Parker pitched the ninth in a little hot water after walking two batters and committing an error on a pickoff move, but he struck out Sam Troyer and Eric Callahan in order to end the game.
Second baseman Dakota Conners got Ogden going in the top of the first with the first of his two doubles. He came around to score on a Reese Alexiades infield single, and Alexiades later scored on a base hit from designated hitter Sonny Ulliana to make it 2-0.
With Portela locking the Chukars down, the Raptors added a run each in the third inning (Conners doubled again and scored on a wild pitch), the fifth inning (first baseman Freddy Achecar walked, stole second with two outs and scored on another Ulliana single), and in the seventh inning (Achecar led off with a single and scored on a Jesus Valdez double).
Valdez hit 3 for 4 to lead Ogden, with Conners adding his two doubles that led directly to his runs, and Ulliana’s 2-for-4 night producing his two RBIs.
Portela, a 6-foot pitcher, played two junior college seasons in his hometown at Sacramento City College (California) before finishing his college career with two seasons at NAIA Cumberland University (Tennessee). He may be an independent-league gem, judging by Thursday and by his first professional season. Portela started 19 games for Evansville in the Frontier League last year, going 10-3 with a 3.69 ERA, striking out 93 and walking 36 in 109 2/3 innings.
RAY SUFFERS SERIOUS INJURY
After Ogden shortstop Fox Semones got picked up by the Arizona Diamondbacks, usual starting left fielder Anthony Ray took over his spot at the top of the lineup for the first two games in Idaho Falls this week. But Ray suffered a serious injury that has ended his season Wednesday night.
Chasing a pop-up to the left side, Ray collided with third baseman Nick Michaels in the fourth inning Wednesday and suffered a broken bone in his leg that was described as apparently severe when it happened. Ogden Raptors team president Dave Baggott said Ray needed surgery Wednesday night.
Ray is expected to return to Ogden as the team travels back Thursday night and Baggott said the team will assist how they can during his rehabilitation. He hopes Ray can return to the Raptors if and when that becomes possible.
Ray, a 6-foot-1 Chicago native, was a draft pick of the St. Louis Cardinals out of high school in 2013. After four seasons in the minor leagues, 2022 was his fourth in independent ball. He hit .297 this season in 16 games, scoring 18 runs, driving in 10 and stealing eight bases.
Ogden 5, Idaho Falls 2
Grand Junction 11, Northern Colorado 5
Boise 3, Rocky Mountain 2
Missoula 12, Great Falls 8
Billings 8, Glacier 5
PIONEER LEAGUE STANDINGS
Through June 16
Idaho Falls 15-5
Great Falls 14-7
Grand Junction 10-9
Northern Colorado 8-11
Rocky Mountain 3-17