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Timely hits lead Ogden Raptors to 5-2 victory, series win at Missoula

By Brett Hein - Standard-Examiner | Jul 7, 2023

BRIAN WOLFER, Special to the Standard-Examiner

Reese Alexiades, center, celebrates his home run with Ogden Raptors teammates on June 24, 2023, at Lindquist Field in Ogden.

It looked a lot different than the game before it but, by the time the Ogden Raptors finished their game Friday night in Missoula, the result was the same.

Jake Mulholland pitched well and, instead of Thursday’s hit barrage, the Raptors used timely, run-scoring hits to defeat the PaddleHeads 5-2 on Friday, claiming the first two contests in the three-game series between the Pioneer League’s two first-place teams.

Ogden (26-14) got on the board first when, after Coleton Horner doubled and scored on a Cam Phelts sacrifice fly in the third inning, outfielder Reese Alexiades socked a two-run home run for a 3-0 lead. It’s Alexiades’ league-leading 14th homer of the season.

The Raptors scored all five runs against Missoula (29-12) starter Kelvan Pilot, who entered the day as the league’s No. 1 pitcher by wins and No. 3 by ERA. The other two runs came in the sixth inning when second baseman Dakota Conners sped to a two-RBI triple.

Mulholland surrendered seven hits in six innings and walked one, but struck out seven and found the right outs at the right time. He left two PaddleHeads on in the third by getting a Dondrei Hubbard flyout and left two more on in the fourth with a groundout. Missoula broke through with a sacrifice fly to score Ryan Cash after he led off the fifth with a double.

Keaton Greenwalt hit a solo homer against Foster Pace in the seventh to pull Missoula to within 5-2.

Brandon McCabe sat Missoula in order in the eighth, striking out two and setting up Dan Kubiuk for the save. Kubiuk ran into trouble when Missoula’s McClain O’Connor doubled to put runners on second and third and bring the potential game-tying run to the plate. But Kubiuk struck out Cash and got Greenwalt to fly out, sealing the win.

Conners and Alexiades were the Raptors’ multi-hit batters as Missoula outhit Ogden 10-8.

Ogden has won 10 of its 11 series so far this season.

Boise (23-18) continued its day-by-day matching of results with Ogden by holding off Northern Colorado 7-5 on Friday, keeping the Raptors’ lead in first place of the South Division at 3 1/2 games.

The series concludes at 7:05 p.m. Saturday. Ogden then returns home for seven games July 10-15 against Rocky Mountain to end the first half.


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