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Ogden Raptors batter Billings in 16-5 blowout Friday

By BRETT HEIN - Standard-Examiner | Jun 14, 2024

BRIAN WOLFER, Special to the Standard-Examiner

Oggie, the Ogden Raptors mascot, points at fans during opening night of the Pioneer Baseball League season Wednesday, May 25, 2022, at Lindquist Field in Ogden.

Allowing two of Billings' three extra-base hits in the first inning, Ogden starter Matthew Hess needed a little run support.

The Raptors provided a surplus, battering their way to a 16-5 victory Friday night over the Mustangs and continuing the team's improved play.

Billings (11-11) jumped to a 3-0 lead before Ogden (9-13) came to bat, stringing four consecutive hits against Hess to open the game: a Taylor Lomack single, a Brendan Ryan home run, a Travis Holt triple and a Patrick Mills single.

But the Mustangs would manage just six more hits in the remaining eight-plus innings. After the first inning, Hess allowed one run on four hits in four more innings, striking out three and retiring the side in order in the fourth and fifth frames. That earned Hess his second win of the season.

Christian Griffin (1 1/3 innings), the returning Jon Rice (one inning), and Gabriel Pacheco (one inning) combined to pitch a perfect 3 1/3 innings to close the game for the Raptors, striking out four.

Ogden used the long ball to erase the early deficit. Right fielder Pearce Howard smacked a solo homer and infielder Raymond Gil hit a two-run dinger in the second inning.

In the third, Nick Ultsch doubled home a run and Landen Barns hit a two-RBI single up the middle for a 6-4 lead. In the fourth, Howard sliced a double to left field, scoring two more runs for an 8-4 advantage.

One run at a time, the Raptors slowly built a blowout. Ultsch and Kenny Oyama each hit a sacrifice fly, and Connor Bagnieski an RBI single to make it 11-5 after seven innings.

Ogden scored five more in the eighth: Ultsch on an error, Howard on a wild pitch, Landen Barns on an Oyama single, Oyama on a wild pitch and Matthew Golda on a Chris Sargent single.

Howard batted 3 for 4 with three RBIs and Ultsch was 3 for 4 with two RBIs. Bagnieski, Sargent, Barns, Gil, Oyama and Jack Cone each totaled two hits.

Lomack and Jacob Kline were the Mustangs' lone two-hit batters. Ethan McRae took the loss on the hill, allowing eight runs on nine hits in his four-inning start.

In the end, the Raptors outhit Billings 18-10 overall and 7-3 on extra-base hits. Ogden's leadoff hitters were an impressive 5 for 8 (.625) and the Raptors hit 7 for 19 (.368) with runners in scoring position -- nearly as many RISP hits as Billings had opportunities (the Mustangs were 3 for 8 in that category).

The two teams play again at 6:30 p.m. Saturday and conclude the series at 2 p.m. Sunday.

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