The 25th season of Ogden Raptors baseball is in the books, the second-best winning season in franchise history ended by a blown lead and a rally that fell just short.
The Raptors trailed 6-0 on the road Sunday evening, fighting back but losing 6-5 in Game 3 of the Pioneer League South Division series — sending the Grand Junction Rockies to the league championship series for the first time in team history and ending Ogden’s season.
The Rockies chased Ogden starter Brett De Geus from the game in the second inning Sunday. Niko Decolati singled in two runs in the first and John Cresto hit a two-run homer in the second for a 4-0 lead.
De Geus left the game with the bases loaded, and a walk and a groundout with Justin Lewis pitching extended Grand Junction’s lead to 6-0. All runs were charged to De Geus.
But Lewis, Evy Ruibal, Wes Helsabeck, Luis Pasen and Justin Bruihl pitched the final 6 2/3 innings and allowed Grand Junction zero hits. That effort nearly won the game for the Raptors.
Ogden slowly worked back into the contest. In the third inning, Marcus Chiu, Tre Todd and Moises Perez — the bottom of the Raptors order — all singled to lead off the frame. Chiu scored on a groundout and Todd scored on a pickoff throwing error, making it 6-2.
Perez, who had eight home runs in 1,070 at-bats in his five-year minor-league career, led off the fifth with a solo homer to trim it to 6-3.
In the sixth, James Outman set the table with a leadoff single and Ronny Brito blasted a two-run shot to get Ogden to within 6-5.
After that, it was about missed opportunities. Chiu walked immediately after Brito’s homer but the Raptors couldn’t get a runner past second. In the eighth, Chiu singled with two outs, Jeremiah Vison came on as a pinch runner and stole second but was left there when Todd struck out.
Ogden stood little chance in the ninth.
The Rockies brought on Alexander Martinez to pitch, the same reliever who recorded a league-record 19 saves in the regular season. He struck out Perez and got Jeremy Arocho and Daniel Robinson to meekly ground out, sending Grand Junction into a frenzy in front of 1,090 home fans.
The Rockies travel to Great Falls to face the Voyagers in the league championship series beginning Tuesday.