In the last game of the first half and very likely the last game Ogden ever plays against Helena, the Raptors and Brewers gave the fans in Helena a rookie-league classic Tuesday night.
Ogden posted an eight-run inning but gave up that lead. The teams combined for 29 hits, 15 walks and 10 errors. The game lasted 3 hours, 57 minutes. Some sprinklers turned on during the ninth inning. And when it was all over, a late-inning rally gave the Raptors a 16-14 win.
Ogden finishes the first half with a scintillating 26-12 record, winning the South Division by five games and finishing four games better than North first-half champion Great Falls.
Of his many hits, Ogden’s Matt Cogen was the hero in the ninth inning, hitting a single to score Jacob Amaya and Daniel Robinson for a 15-14 lead. Cogen was 4 of 6 at the plate with five RBIs, including a fifth-inning home run.
Reza Aleaziz was the other hero. The Raptors reliever posted the only 1-2-3 inning of the game to shut down Helena in the eighth with Ogden trailing 14-12. Then, pitching with the lead in the ninth, he issued a leadoff walk before striking out a batter and inducing a game-ending double play to earn the win.
At one point, Helena led 8-2. Ogden erased that in the fifth inning. Chris Roller tripled in two runs, Cogen homered, and Amaya doubled in a pair to put the Raptors up 10-8.
Ogden gave it all back in a disastrous fifth inning. The Raptors committed three errors in the frame (six in the game) and a few well-placed singles and groundouts pushed across five runs, giving Helena a 14-10 lead.
It appeared for a moment that Ogden missed its chance to win in the eighth. Dillon Paulson doubled with two outs and scored on an error. Roller scored on a single from Cogen to cut the deficit to 14-12. But with the bases loaded, Jefrey Souffront lined out to Je’Von Ward in left field, who caught the ball at his shoelaces to end the threat.
Robinson totaled three hits for Ogden. Roller and James Outman each had two hits. Amaya drew four walks and scored three times.
Ogden finishes 95-90 all-time against Helena, barring a potential matchup in this year’s championship series.
Ogden returns home to begin the second half with a five-game homestand beginning Wednesday against the Grand Junction Rockies.