Nobody beats the Ogden Raptors three games in a row.
At least not in the 2019 season.
The Raptors entered Monday’s contest with the Missoula Osprey on a two-game losing run, just their second losing skid of the season.
Just when it looked they were about to waste a good pitching performance, Sauryn Lao sent a very engaged crowd home happy in the 11th inning with a 4-3 win after a walk-off RBI double.
It came after an error at third base by Jimmy Titus in the top of the 11th brought in Missoula’s third run and appeared to give the Osprey a huge leg up.
Titus started off the Ogden rally with an RBI single in the 11th off the left field wall, wisely not trying to stretch it into a double.
Lao did the rest, drawing a huge cheer from the fans still at the stadium.
He drew a huge cheer while the sun was still out for an impressive defensive play in which a ground ball took an awkward bounce off of second base, but Lao adjusted in a split-second while the ball was in midair, fielded it and made the throw to first in time.
Raptors starting pitcher Jeronimo Castro tossed seven innings and allowed two runs (one earned) with seven strikeouts in front of an announced crowd of 3,722.
Relief pitcher Jeff Belge cruised through the eighth and ninth innings by striking out five of the six batters he saw.
Missoula starter Josh McMinn went five innings, allowed one earned run and struck out five while just taking 73 pitches to do so.
Pitching on both sides was the strong point, a diversion away from the Pioneer League’s normally high-volume hitting theatrics.
Titus gave Ogden its first lead of the game with an RBI double in the fourth inning. Titus was thrown out by a sizable margin as he tried to make a beeline for third base.
In the long-term it proved to be a huge “what if?” as the RBI double came with one out. Had Titus stayed at second, he surely would’ve scored a couple pitches later when Andrew Shaps roped a no-doubt double to right field.
Instead, Ogden led 1-0 and then trailed 2-1 when a Missoula RBI double by Axel Andueza turned into Andueza scoring on that same base hit after a throwing error by shortstop Jeremy Arocho.
The Raptors tied the game 2-2 in the seventh but were left to wonder “what if?” again after Cesar Mendoza drove in a run while grounding into a double play with the bases loaded and no out.