Despite delay, Ogden Raptors make quick work of GJ in 6-4 win for 3rd straight victory
OGDEN — Strong pitching and the pitch clock combined to show just how quickly a good game of baseball can be played on Thursday at Lindquist Field.
That is until Mother Nature decided things were moving too well.
Ogden Raptors starter Ronny Orta cruised through three innings of work and his team led the Grand Junction Jackalopes 3-0 when the game went under a lightning delay at 7:01 p.m., a pause that lasted for 55 minutes.
After the delay, Ogden’s bullpen kept GJ at bay until the ninth when drama ensued, but the Raptors moved to 3-0 on the young season with a 6-4 victory.
Orta allowed no hits and strung together four straight groundball outs before hitting Grand Junction catcher Tyler Sandoval on the arm with one out in the top of the third. But former Raptor Anthony Ray quickly grounded up the middle and into a double play to end the frame.
That’s when the umpires put the game under delay due to lightning in the area, which became a thunderstorm that sent fans for cover due to rain.
The first 1 1/2 innings took 12 minutes to complete before Ogden outfielder Reese Alexiades tagged GJ starter Jimmy Dobrash for a leadoff single in the bottom of the second, sending a ball 108 mph off the bat to left field. He and third baseman Tim Bouchard eventually scored on a double from catcher Landen Barnes and shortstop Rafael Narea made it 3-0 with a sacrifice fly to score Nick Ultsch.
The delay led to pitching changes for both sides upon the game’s restart, so Orta finished with nine batters faced and one hit-by-pitch as the only tally on his ledger.
Ed Baram took over for Ogden and Grand Junction finally put a number other than a zero on any part of the scoreboard when Colin Gordon led off with an infield single that dribbled by Baram on the mound, and he later scored on a double from Jacob Cruce to make it 3-1.
Baram finished allowing two earned runs on five hits in four innings, striking out three and walking one.
In the sixth inning, Ultsch cracked a solo homer and the speedy Cameron Phelts tripled to right, scoring Narea, for a 6-1 Ogden lead.
The Jackalopes finally caused trouble in the top of the ninth. Ron Washington Jr. doubled in a run and scored on a sacrifice fly (a play in which the Raptors and the entire third-base grandstand of fans contested he didn’t tag up) to make it 6-4.
With a runner on and two outs, Sandoval rocketed a double off the tape atop the left-field wall. Ogden left fielder Brian Dansereau deftly played the ball that had popped high into the air and kept GJ from scoring.
One inch from tying the game with a homer, Sandoval instead stood on second as the potential tying run. Lefty Adam Scoggins relieved Marshall Shill, who ran into the trouble on the mound, and struck out pinch hitter Austin Chouinard to end the contest.
The two teams play again at 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and finish the series at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Ogden 6, Grand Junction 4
Boise 12, Idaho Falls 7
Billings 4, Missoula 0
Missoula 4, Billings 1
Great Falls 5, Glacier 3
Rocky Mountain at Northern Colorado, suspended due to weather
PIONEER LEAGUE STANDINGS
Great Falls 2-1
Idaho Falls 1-2
Northern Colorado 2-0
Rocky Mountain 0-2
Grand Junction 0-3