OGDEN — It appeared for a bit that clinching the first-half title and having a day off Thursday might be the undoing of the Ogden Raptors’ win streak when play resumed Friday to open a six-game homestand.
But after a back-and-forth rally of early runs, the Raptors settled in, took care of business and ran their win streak to 11 games by defeating the Rocky Mountain Vibes 9-5 in front of 4,526 fans at Lindquist Field.
Ogden is now an absurd 26-6, with six games left in the first half, and has won 21 of its last 23 games. The Raptors’ franchise best for wins in one half is 26.
The Raptors made their decisive move in the sixth inning when, with the game tied 5-5, Jon Littell led off with a triple. Jeremy Arocho singled him in to take a lead, then sped all the way around from first on a double from Andrew Shaps for a 7-5 advantage.
In the eighth, Ogden third baseman Sauryn Lao led off reaching by error and eventually scored on a squeeze bunt from Arocho. Ramon Rodriguez later singled in Littell for the final score.
Things were shaky to start for both starters. Ogden’s Jeronimo Castro gave up five runs in four innings, giving an early lead to the Vibes (13-19) and then giving up leads twice after Ogden’s offense allowed Castro to work ahead.
Antonio Pinero led off the game with a near homer, doubling off the wall for Rocky Mountain. He later scored and a Michael Wilson RBI double put the visitors up 2-0.
Ogden answered with two walks, a single, a Brandon Lewis double and an error on an Arocho grounder to take the lead 4-2 after one frame.
A bunt single, a Castro error and a Pinero single pulled the game even 4-4 in the top of the second.
Sam McWilliams answered with a solo homer to lead off the bottom of the second for a 5-4 Ogden lead. That helped chase Vibes starter Wuilder Rodriguez from the game after two innings.
The Vibes tied it 5-5 when an error helped the tying run score but the Raptors bullpen took over from there. Melvin Jimenez picked up the win in two innings after relieving Castro. Jimenez, Jeff Belge (two innings) and Corey Merrill (one) combined for five scoreless innings, striking out six, walking one and allowing only two hits.
Ogden and Rocky Mountain continue their three-game series at 7 p.m. Saturday.