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Ogden Raptors drop Game 1 of divisional series, GJ Rockies win 13-5

By Brett Hein - Standard-Examiner | Sep 12, 2022

BRIAN WOLFER, Special to the Standard-Examiner

Ogden Raptors pitcher Ronny Orta delivers a pitch during opening night of the Pioneer Baseball League season Wednesday, May 25, 2022, at Lindquist Field in Ogden. (BRIAN WOLFER, Special to the Standard-Examiner)

The Ogden Raptors didn’t get what they needed on the mound Monday in Grand Junction and the Rockies swung their way to a 13-5 win in Game 1 of the Pioneer Baseball League’s South Divisional playoff series at Suplizio Field.

The best-of-three series moves to Ogden where the Raptors face elimination at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Lindquist Field. Christian Day is Ogden’s likely starting pitcher.

Jacob Cruce, obtained in a trade from Boise earlier in the season, launched two crucial home runs to lead Grand Junction to the win Monday.

The first came in the fourth inning. On the first pitch from Polo Portela, who had just come in to relieve starter Ronny Orta, Cruce crushed an offspeed pitch over the wall in right-center to put the Rockies ahead 8-0.

The Raptors got some back in the top of the fifth. Two hits and two errors pushed across one run and loaded the bases. With one out, Jesus Valdez banged a bases-clearing double off the left-center wall to make it 8-4. He was left at second when Alejandro Rivero and Brian Dansereau each struck out.

That missed opportunity didn’t matter for long. Ogden went to Alberto Gonzalez to pitch the bottom of the fifth. He was pulled after a single and a walk for Jake Mulholland, who gave up an RBI double and intentionally walked Nico Popa to load the bases and get to Cruce.

Cruce made them pay, smashing a grand slam to put the home team ahead 13-4.

Valdez added an RBI single for Ogden to make it 13-5 in the seventh, giving him four RBIs.

Grand Junction got up 4-0 in the second against Orta when Jaylen Hubbard hit a two-run homer and Joe Johnson drove in two on a double.

Ogden relievers Riley Ottesen (two innings) and Adam Scoggins (one inning) shut things down from there, but the hole was too big. Those two combined for five strikeouts, no walks and two hits over three innings.

The Raptors loaded the bases in the top of the eighth with one out but did not score.

Starter Josh Agnew got the win for Grand Junction, allowing one earned run on six hits over five innings.


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