BZ 091117 raptors owlz playoffs

In this September 2017 photo, the Ogden Raptors celebrate around Romer Cuadrado (center) after his grand slam against Orem in Game 2 of the Pioneer League South Division series. The Raptors begin their title defense Friday, Sept. 7.

For the ninth time in the last 11 seasons, the Ogden Raptors are in the postseason. And one of those years they missed (2015), due to the quirks of a split-half schedule, the Raptors had the league’s best overall record.

Ogden’s rookie-league ballclub has produced wins for the community, which it rewards with the league’s top attendance, year after year.

The next chapter — the defense of the Raptors’ first league title — begins Friday night against the Grand Junction Rockies (43-33). Lindquist Field will host Games 1 and 2 at 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. If necessary, the best-of-three series would move to Grand Junction at 5 p.m. Sunday.

The Raptors (46-30) won the season series 9-7. That includes road wins of 22-7, 14-5 and 17-5 before many of Ogden’s top hitters were called up. Post All-Star game, the teams played only twice: a split series in Ogden with the Rockies taking a game 11-4 and the Raptors winning one 6-5.

In that win, coming on Sept. 1, Dillon Paulson socked two late-inning homers to lift his team to victory.

The games figure to be high scoring. The Raptors ran away with the league scoring title at 591 runs, setting a new franchise record. Grand Junction was far behind but third in the league at 451.

The teams were 1-2 in home runs with Ogden hitting 82 (1.08 per game) and the Rockies hitting 77 (1.01).

Bargain-hunters can find a deal as all seats are $5 — lower than half-price — for all seats in the stadium. Baseball purists have a find, too: Playoff games feature no in-game promotions, letting “the teams take center stage,” team president Dave Baggott said in a recent promotion for the games.

CHUKARS 7, RAPTORS 1

Ogden lost the regular-season finale Thursday and fell one game short of tying last year’s franchise record for total wins.

Jeremy Arocho singled to lead off the game, stole second and scored on a fly out and a groundout. That was Ogden’s only hit through the first six innings.

Daniel Robinson finished with two hits and the team totaled five.

New Raptors Leonel Valera, Aldrich De Jongh and Jeremiah Vison combined to hit 1 of 9 with five strikeouts in their debuts.

Contact Brett Hein at bhein@standard.net, follow him on Twitter @bhein3 and at facebook.com/brettheinwrites.

Brett Hein is the sports editor and covers Weber State sports for the Standard-Examiner.

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