Ogden Raptors take series finale at Grand Junction to reclaim 1st place in PBL South
Dylan Pearce got his first win on the mound and the bottom half of Ogden’s order came through with clutch contact early, building a lead the Raptors would hold onto for an 8-6 victory to close an eight-game series Sunday at Grand Junction.
Though the Rockies took the series 5-3 and lead this half’s head-to-head 7-5 against Ogden, the Sunday win gives the Raptors a one-game lead in the Pioneer League South Division with 18 games left in the first half.
With no outs and the bases loaded in the second, Ogden designated hitter Sonny Ulliana singled in a run. Dustyn Macaluso grounded into a double play that limited the damage but scored one more for a 2-0 advantage.
In the third, catcher Andrew Noviello singled in two runs and scored on an Ulliana single. Macaluso then hit a two-run triple to put the Raptors up 7-0.
It was smooth until the sixth. Pearce had held Grand Junction to just one run through five innings but gave up three consecutive one-out singles in the sixth and was pulled for Jorge Gonzalez. On either side of a flyout, Gonzalez issued a walk and hit a batter, each pushing across runs to make it 7-3.
After Miguel Cirino took over for Gonzalez, GJ’s Caleb Farmer hit a two-run single to pull to a 7-5 score.
Cirino issued a walk and a single to start the seventh and gave way to lefty and Clearfield native Chase Stratton, who induced a run-scoring groundout and later an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded to maintain a 7-6 lead.
Ogden’s own Evan Parker pitched an important, scoreless eighth inning for Ogden, getting the Raptors through to the ninth when outfielder Pat Adams led off with a single, his team’s first hit in 3 1/3 innings. Reese Alexiades advanced Adams on a groundout and shortstop Jesus Valdez drove him in on a single for an 8-6 cushion.
Two-way lefty Jackson Lancaster closed the game on the hill for the second straight night, pitching around a baserunner reaching via error and ending the game for Ogden by striking out Nate Scantlin.
The Raptors now break for two days before resuming play with a three-game home series June 29 through July 1 against the Boise Hawks.
Ogden 8, Grand Junction 6
Northern Colorado 4, Rocky Mountain 3
Rocky Mountain 3, Northern Colorado 2
Missoula 12, Great Falls 9
Idaho Falls 15, Glacier 7
PIONEER LEAGUE STANDINGS
Idaho Falls 18-11
Great Falls 17-13
Grand Junction 15-15
Northern Colorado 12-15
Rocky Mountain 8-20