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Ogden Raptors claim attendance crown again; Alexiades honored, playoffs near

By Brett Hein - Standard-Examiner | Sep 6, 2023

Kevin Johnson, Ogden Raptors

Ogden Raptors outfielder Reese Alexiades rounds third to score against Idaho Falls on Wednesday, June 28, 2023, at Lindquist Field in Ogden.

OGDEN — A pair of fans arrived 45 minutes before first pitch Wednesday at Lindquist Field wearing gray shirts with blue home plate outlines on the front. Inside the outline said “Best Fans in Baseball.”

Sure, they’re freebies from previous T-shirt giveaways at the ballpark, but the Ogden Raptors and their supporters may be right to toot their own horn a bit when it comes to attendance and community support.

The Raptors have now led the Pioneer Baseball League in fan attendance for the 26th consecutive season — every season contested since Lindquist Field opened in 1997. Ogden topped the 10-team league in 2023 despite a strong push from the Boise Hawks by averaging 3,428 fans over 48 home games for a total of 164,561 after opening the gates for the final time in the regular season.

“Ogden’s been a baseball town since 1899 and they’ve been coming out no matter what teams have been playing here,” team president Dave Baggott said. “We’re just proud that the 30 years we’ve just completed have made us the longest continuously running professional team in Ogden’s history. We couldn’t do that if it wasn’t for the community, so they deserve all the credit in the world.”

Boise entered Wednesday at a 3,384 fans-per-game average. The start of their home finale against Missoula was delayed and was in the second inning as of press time, but the Hawks needed 5,528 fans in a stadium with a listed capacity of 3,500 to overcome Ogden’s lead.

BRIAN WOLFER, Special to the Standard-Examiner

Two men watch as the Ogden Raptors face the Boise Hawks on Saturday, June 24, 2023, at Lindquist Field in Ogden.

Ogden has held off Boise and Colorado Springs for three seasons since they joined the league despite their substantially larger populations.

With four nights left in the regular season, the Pioneer League had already surpassed its 2022 league total of 924,947. With a total of 929,986 (a league-wide average of 2,247 per game), the end of the week could see the league flirt with 1 million fans through the gate for the first time, though that effort may fall short since Ogden and Boise, the only two teams averaging more than 3,000 fans per night, won’t be hosting games in the final three days.

The 1-million mark could come in 2024 if the Northern Colorado Owlz are able to open the featured stadium at the team’s Future Legends Complex; the Owlz have played at temporary/secondary fields for two seasons and their attendance has not been recorded toward averages or totals.


The Raptors recognized outfielder Reese Alexiades during the fourth inning of Wednesday’s game for becoming the franchise’s single-season home run king among seasons of 100 games or less. Alexiades has 26 home runs in 91 games.

Alexiades can also claim the title of Mr. Raptor. Wednesday was his 219th career game in Ogden, easily the most ever by one player. Only Josh Broughton compares; the fellow outfielder played his 198th game in Ogden on Wednesday after rejoining the team a couple weeks ago.


The Raptors next trip to Idaho Falls for three games to close the regular season.

After that, it’s playoff time. By virtue of winning the South Division’s first-half crown, Ogden will participate in the postseason again. Its opponent will be either the Rocky Mountain Vibes or Grand Junction Jackalopes; the second-half champion may not be decided until Saturday when the regular season concludes.

The second-half champ will host Game 1 of the South Divisional series Monday, Sept. 11. Ogden will host Game 2 at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 13, at Lindquist Field. Game 3 would follow in Ogden the next day, if necessary.

Missoula won the first half in the North. Billings, winners of 15 straight, entered Wednesday with a half-game lead on Missoula in the second-half standings; if that holds, Billings will grab the other berth in the North. If it doesn’t, the Glacier Range Riders, who hold the league’s second-best overall record, would make the playoffs.


The Ogden Raptors ended a seven-game losing streak Tuesday by beating Northern Colorado 14-8, rapping 18 hits in a seven-inning contest to cap a doubleheader. Mitchell Stone made his return off the injured list and threw four shutout innings, striking out five and allowing four hits, while Jonathan Soto homered and Juan Teixeira hit two doubles.

The series concluded Wednesday in Ogden’s home finale and the Raptors won the rubber match 5-3 in front of 2,069 fans and in a quick contest of 2 hours, 10 minutes.

Northern Colorado (45-47, 22-23) starter Austin Schneider outdueled Ogden’s Jake Mulholland, who made his return off the injured list, in strong outings for both.

Schneider largely had the game under control, allowing a Nick Ultsch sacrifice fly to score Jonathan Soto in the fourth inning and plating Reese Alexiades on a wild pitch in the sixth.

He exited the game with a 3-2 lead; Dave Matthews hit a solo homer off Mulholland in the fourth and old friend Nick Michaels scored Danny Perez on a sacrifice fly to give the Owlz an advantage.

But it was Ogden (47-46, 16-29) who won the bullpen battle. Foster Pace, Marshall Shill, Quinn Waterhouse and Brandon McCabe (one inning each) allowed two combined hits, representing the only baserunners the Owlz managed in the final four innings.

Ogden got to reliever Dalton Ross in the seventh. With two outs, Ross hit Coleton Horner and walked Dakota Conners. Chuck Steele, pinch-running for Horner, scored when Josh Broughton singled to left and the throw home squirted away from play, allowing Conners to round third and score for a 4-3 lead.

Nick Ultsch made it 5-3 with an RBI double in the eighth, scoring Juan Teixeira.

After surrendering a leadoff bloop single in the ninth, McCabe struck out two to earn his first save of the season, ending the game by freezing catcher Josh Glenn with a breaking ball for a called third strike.


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