MH 071018 Raptors Missoula Osprey 10-2

In this July 10, 2018, photo, Ogden Raptors' Dillon Paulson (14) sticks his tongue out while rounding third base after hitting a home run against Missoula at Lindquist Field in Ogden.

The Ogden Raptors finished a convincing, four-game sweep of the Orem Owlz in convincing fashion.

Ogden took advantage of its opportunities and stymied the Owlz at the plate, winning a 4-1 decision Tuesday night in Orem.

With the regular-season nearing its end — there are eight games left — the sweep moves the Raptors close to a record. At 44-24, Ogden must go at least 4-4 down the stretch to reach 48 wins, which would be a new team record for total wins in a season.

In the 2017 campaign that saw the Raptors win their first Pioneer League championship, the team was 47-29 in the regular season.

The Raptors already qualified for this year’s playoffs by winning the first half, but at 18-12 in the second half are in contention to win the second half, too. That race and the final eight games will decide if Ogden plays Idaho Falls or Grand Junction in the first playoff series.

Ogden struck first Tuesday when Dillon Paulson and Ronny Brito led off with walks in the second inning and Paulson scored on an Orem fielding error.

In the fourth, Marco Hernandez doubled in Niko Hulsizer for a 2-0 lead.

Paulson did the rest, scoring Jeremy Arocho on a sacrifice fly in the fifth and doubling home Marcus Chiu in the ninth for a 4-0 lead.

Starter Orlandy Navarro picked up his first win as a Raptor, pitching five scoreless innings while allowing three hits, walking zero and striking out four.

Connor Mitchell threw two more scoreless innings and Justin Bruihl nearly copied it, but former BYU catcher David Clawson doubled in a run with Orem down to its last out to avoid the shutout.

Orem only had five at-bats with a runner in scoring position Tuesday.

Ogden defeated the Owlz (19-48, 7-22) in decisions of 13-5, 8-5, 6-1 and 4-1 in the sweep.

The Raptors return home for the final regular-season homestand beginning Wednesday for two games against Idaho Falls and two against Grand Junction.

The playoffs begin Friday, Sept. 7 with South Division series Game 1 at either Idaho Falls or Grand Junction. The series will shift to Ogden for Game 2 on Sept. 8 and, if necessary, Game 3 on Sept. 9.

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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