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Raptors leaves bases loaded 3 times, fall to Vibes 9-8 to end first half

By Brett Hein - Standard-Examiner | Jul 15, 2023

The Ogden Raptors closed their first-half championship run by leaving the bases loaded in three separate innings and losing 9-8 to the Rocky Mountain Vibes on Saturday night at Lindquist Field.

The Vibes (20-27) took a 6-1 lead when Joe Encarnacion hit a three-run homer off Raptors starter Ed Baram, who took the loss.

The Raptors scored four times in the seventh without getting the ball out of the infield, totaling five walks, a fielder's choice grounder and then two infield singles to cut the deficit to 8-7 before leaving the bases loaded when Nick Ultsch grounded out.

Encarnacion pushed across an important run in the top of the eighth, singling in Austin Elder, to get RMV ahead 9-7.

Ogden again threatened in the ninth when Dane Tofteland walked and Sal Gozzo was hit by a pitch, setting up Landen Barns, who has rejoined the team, with an RBI single to make it 9-8. Ultsch then reached by error to load the bases before Cam Phelts flew out to left field to end the game.

Barns hit 2 for 4 with two RBIs and Rafael Narea drove in two runs.

Ogden ends the first half with a record of 31-17 and won the half by three games over Boise. The Pioneer League takes Sunday and Monday off before starting the second half Tuesday.

The Raptors hit the road for a six-game series at North first-half champion Missoula on Tuesday. Ogden next returns home Tuesday, July 25, for a six-game series against Boise.

Ogden finished the first half with three highly attended games and hits the break leading the league in attendance at 3,580 fans per game over 27 openings. The Raptors play just 21 home games in the second half. Boise averaged 3,495 fans in 27 games.

Reese Alexiades leads the league with 16 home runs, ahead of two others with 14, and reliever Dan Kubiuk is in a three-way tie for first in pitching saves with seven.

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