OGDEN — The Ogden Raptors have known nothing but tension all week.
A week ago Sunday at Grand Junction in the Pioneer League playoff opener, Ogden won 2-1 on a ninth-inning homer by Andrew Shaps.
The next day in Ogden, the Raptors walked off in extra innings thanks to a GJ fielding error to win that series.
Friday night in Idaho Falls for the first game of the Pioneer League Championship series, Ogden fought back from a 3-0 deficit and won 5-3 on the back of fielding errors and groundouts that brought runs across the plate.
Saturday night in Ogden, the tension quickly evaporated once Idaho Falls took command of Game 2, beating the Raptors 6-2 and setting up a winner-take-all Game 3 at 4 p.m. Sunday at Lindquist Field.
So the Raptors’ quest for a second PL championship trophy will either have to wait about 24 more hours or about 365 more days, depending on Sunday’s outcome.
Marco Hernandez led off the second inning with a solo home run for Ogden to put the home team up 1-0.
Idaho Falls took a 2-1 lead in the fourth from a Travis Jones RBI triple and a subsequent sacrifice fly by Rhett Aplin.
Raptors outfielder Andrew Shaps, who threw a runner out at home plate from shallow right field in the first inning, hit an RBI double to center field to tie the game 2-2 in the bottom of the fourth.
The Chukars grabbed their go-ahead runs in the sixth inning via back-to-back RBI singles from Aplin and Jimmy Govern. Juan Carlos Negret’s home run in the eighth made it a 6-2 Idaho Falls lead.
Ogden was held to four hits and Raptors batters struck out 13 times.
Ogden batted 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position. The Raptors’ first three pitchers — Alfredo Tavarez, Jeronimo Castro and Antonio Hernandez — each gave up two earned runs in varying amounts of innings pitched.
Only when Hunter Speer arrived on the mound for the Raptors in the eighth inning did the Chukars bats go quiet, but it was far too late.
Saturday’s contest was played in front of a healthy 3,485 fans.
The Raptors say the ticket office will open at 10 a.m. Sunday for the 4 p.m. winner-take-all contest. All seats are general admission and cost $5.