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Ogden Raptors celebrate 2023 title with rings, lose marathon 2024 opener to Owlz

By BRETT HEIN - Standard-Examiner | May 21, 2024
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Ogden Raptors returning ball boy Carson Symes, center, smiles while holding a ring box as manager Evan Parker gives him a hug during a ring ceremony for the team's 2023 league championship on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, at Lindquist Field in Ogden.
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Ogden Raptors center fielder Parker DePasquale swings at a pitch against Northern Colorado on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, at Lindquist Field in Ogden.
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Ogden Raptors shortstop Tyler Clark-Chiapparelli, left, tries to tag out Northern Colorado's Henry George at second base on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, at Lindquist Field in Ogden.
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Ogden Raptors pitcher Rafael Vasquez throws a pitch against Northern Colorado on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, at Lindquist Field in Ogden.
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Ogden Raptors catcher Thomas Greely runs to first base against Northern Colorado on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, at Lindquist Field in Ogden.
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Ogden Raptors outfielder Pearce Howard pursues a Northern Colorado hit on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, at Lindquist Field in Ogden.
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The Ogden Raptors' 2023 Pioneer Baseball League championship trophy sits on a table on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, at Lindquist Field in Ogden.
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The Ogden Raptors and Northern Colorado Owlz line up during the singing of the national anthem on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, at Lindquist Field in Ogden.
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Ogden Raptors outfielder Pearce Howard runs the bases against Northern Colorado on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, at Lindquist Field in Ogden.
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Ogden Raptors player Landen Barnes, left, shakes hands with game-day operations director Richard Armstrong after receiving his 2023 championship ring on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, at Lindquist Field in Ogden.
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Ogden Raptors players stand in the dugout on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, at Lindquist Field in Ogden.

OGDEN — On a night the Ogden Raptors celebrated their 2023 league championship with a pregame ring ceremony, the new-look club played a 4-hour marathon with the experienced Northern Colorado Owlz and fell 14-9 in Tuesday’s 2024 season opener at Lindquist Field.

The Owlz (1-0), who returned a glut of players from last season, took a 9-4 lead in the fifth inning on a three-RBI double from Henry George that knocked off Raptor Ridge in right-center field.

All of Northern Colorado’s four runs in the fifth were questionable. Parker DePasquale, a Bountiful High alum, made an impressive catch at the fence in center field for the second out of the frame. NoCo’s Dave Matthews did not tag before advancing to third base and the base umpire ruled him safe after Ogden appealed in a ruling that could have otherwise ended the inning.

Matthews then scored on a wild pitch, preceding George’s bases-clearing double.

Ogden (0-1) tied it up in the sixth anyway. Returning left fielder Nick Ultsch doubled in a pair of runs, newcomer Connor Bagnieski singled in Ultsch, and DePasquale singled home returner Landen Barns to tie it 9-9.

Young Raptors pitcher Gabriel Pacheco made his pro debut in the seventh and found himself in a jam thanks to his own pickoff error and by hitting a batter. The Owlz secured the lead for good when Jackson Coutts doubled off the wall to score George, and Euro Diaz later drove a single through a drawn-in infield for two more runs and a 12-9 lead.

George finished 4 for 4 with two doubles, four RBIs and three runs scored to lead the Northern Colorado attack. Ogden pitchers added 11 walks to 15 hits allowed.

The Raptors totaled 14 hits and five walks at the plate. Ultsch finished 2 for 4 with three RBIs. New leadoff man and shortstop Tyler Clark-Chiapparelli was 2 for 5 with a walk and two runs scored. Right fielder Pearce Howard batted 3 for 4 and scored three runs.

The game featured the debut of the strike zone challenge through the Automatic Balls and Strikes System from Trackman. Ogden infielder Raymond Gil was the first to challenge a pitch in the first inning, a third strike that was overturned to a ball; Gil then struck out swinging on the next pitch.

The two teams continue the six-game series with Game 2 at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

TUESDAY SCORES

Northern Colorado 14, Ogden 9

Boise 6, Grand Junction 5 (via Knockout)

Idaho Falls 7, Missoula 6 (via Knockout)

Oakland 7, Glacier 6

Billings 8, Great Falls 6

Rocky Mountain at Yolo, late

PIONEER LEAGUE STANDINGS

Through games May 21

Boise 1-0

Billings 1-0

Idaho Falls 1-0

Northern Colorado 1-0

Oakland 1-0

Rocky Mountain 0-0

Yolo 0-0

Glacier 0-1

Grand Junction 0-1

Great Falls 0-1

Missoula 0-1

Ogden 0-1

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