The Ogden Raptors slogged through seven innings of their game Tuesday at Grand Junction with only two hits, its offense slumbering to start the first two games of a seven-game road trip.
And, despite stranding two in scoring position after a pair of hits in the eighth, the Raptors found a way to grab victory in the final inning to beat the Rockies 4-3 at Suplizio Field — narrowly avoiding consecutive losses for the first time since June 20.
With the contest tied 3-3, catcher Marco Hernandez led off the ninth with a single for Ogden (34-8, 3-1). Zac Ching came on to pinch run and took second when Andrew Shaps singled.
When a Jeremy Arocho sacrifice bunt attempt resulted in Ching being thrown out at third, and when Brandon Lewis struck out, it felt like a repeat of the previous mostly fruitless 17 innings in Grand Junction. But Sam McWilliams then produced an infield single to shortstop to a diving Christian Koss.
Because there were two outs, Shaps ran on contact and rounded third to score on the play for a 4-3 lead.
Ogden was not out of the woods yet, however.
Reza Aleaziz, who got the final out of the eighth with one pitch, ran into some trouble in the ninth.
The Rockies (22-20, 3-1) singled twice with one out, then Aleaziz plunked Koss to load the bases and put the winning run on second base.
But the next ball went to Arocho again off the bat of Brenton Doyle. He flipped to Jimmy Titus at second, who threw to first for a game-ending double play.
The Raptors took a 2-0 lead in the second after drawing three walks and a hit-by-pitch, along with one hit from Ryan Ward, but left the bases loaded.
Ogden starter Jeronimo Castro got to 4 2/3 innings for his second straight start but couldn't finish the fifth, walking two batters after getting the second out. The three eventual runs GJ scored in the frame were charged to Castro and the Rockies held a 3-2 lead.
Ward, the only Raptor with more than one hit, walked in the sixth and was driven in on a Sauryn Lao single to tie it 3-3. That set up the nail-biter of a ninth inning.
The two teams finish the three-game set Wednesday before the Raptors move on to Colorado Springs for a four-game series against the Rocky Mountain Vibes.