It was a little less conventional than a typical, modern professional baseball game but, in the end, the Ogden Raptors picked up a road win by putting more balls over the fence than their opponent.
Brandon Lewis hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning as one of three Raptors hits to technically leave the yard in an 8-3 win over the Rocky Mountain Vibes on Sunday afternoon in Colorado Springs.
The Lewis long ball came in the fourth inning to put Ogden (43-14, 12-7) ahead 5-0. It was his 12th of the season and also brought him to 38 RBIs in 31 games. The fourth-round draft pick hit 3 of 5 on the day, raising his average to .360.
It also came with two outs, cashing in a scoring opportunity in a way that evaded Ogden earlier in the night by leaving the bases loaded in the second inning.
Andy Pages also hit one out in the fourth, but on a bounce — one of two run-scoring, ground-rule doubles for the Raptors on Sunday. That double drove in Jon Littell for a 2-0 lead and set the table for Lewis.
Rocky Mountain (25-32, 8-11) could hardly touch Ogden starter Jeronimo Castro through three innings. Nick Egnatuk singled on the Vibes’ first at-bat of the game, then Castro sat the next nine hitters down in order, including four strikeouts.
But after the 5-0 margin on Lewis’ big swing, the Vibes finally got to Castro in the fourth, roping together four consecutive one-out singles, with a Castro pickoff error sandwiched in the middle, to cut the deficit to 5-3.
That’s as close as it got, thanks to Raptors relievers Jeff Belge, Mitchell Tyranski and Reza Aleaziz. Belge and Tyranski combined to give up one hit in 3 1/3 scoreless innings, with Tyranski getting the win, before Aleaziz pitched the final two innings in scoreless fashion. Ogden pitchers combined to strike out 11 and walk one.
Pages, who hit 2 for 3 and also drew two walks — his on-base percentage consistently hangs around .400 these days — scored on a wild pitch in the sixth inning for a 6-3 lead.
Then, in the eighth, Pages (on board with a walk) and Jorbit Vivas (single) both scored on the second ground-rule double for the final margin, this one off the bat of Zac Ching.
Ogden needs five wins to set a new single-season wins record with 19 games remaining and plays the third of an eight-game road trip at 6:40 p.m. Monday.