Sunday , July 08, 2018 - 10:06 PM
For as hot as the Ogden Raptors have been, Sunday brought a near repeat of Saturday’s loss.
Ogden again got behind early, struggled to hit until late and lost the series finale at Grand Junction 10-5.
While the Raptors (15-9) totaled four hits through seven innings, the Rockies (11-13) got to work early to chase Ogden starter Brett De Geus after two innings.
Niko Decolati hit a two-run home run in the first inning for the Rockies. Chris Navarro and Hunter Stovall traded RBI doubles in the second, giving the home team a 4-0 lead.
It got worse in the third inning, despite reliever Justin Bruihl only giving up one hit. After he issued a leadoff walk, infielders Jeremy Arocho and Miguel Vargas committed errors to help the Rockies score three runs with two outs, growing their lead to 7-0.
Ogden didn’t answer until the sixth when Drew Avans drew a two-out walk and was driven in by Daniel Robinson.
Like Saturday, when they cut a 5-1 deficit to 5-4 in the final inning, it looked like the Raptors might make things interesting again Sunday.
In the eighth, Robinson drove in another run with a groundout. James Outman followed with a two-run home run to make it 7-4.
But the suspense didn’t last long. Ogden reliever Reza Aleaziz threw a perfect seventh inning, but the Rockies got to him in the eighth after a strikeout was nullified on a wild pitch. Grand Junction followed that mistake with three consecutive singles to put the game out of reach at 10-5.
One of those singles came from Stovall, who continued his red-hot pro debut for the Rockies. After homering twice Saturday, he was 4 for 5 on Sunday. In two games, he’s 7 for 9 with 14 total bases and 7 RBIs.
The Raptors had seven hits, one apiece for seven hitters. Outman’s home run was their only extra-base hit.
Because Idaho Falls (14-10) lost to Orem (8-16) Sunday, the Raptors maintain a one-game lead in the South Division first-half standings.
The Pioneer League has Monday off. The Raptors return to Ogden for a seven-game homestand beginning Tuesday against Missoula (13-11).
NEWS & NOTES
— Sunday’s results give Ogden the tiebreaker over Idaho Falls should the two finish tied at the end of the first half. The two teams split their head-to-head games 4-4 but Ogden is now guaranteed a better record against South Division teams. There are 14 games left in the first half and they all come in cross-division play.
— Outman is only hitting .143 after going hitless in his first 23 professional at-bats, but the seventh-round draft pick’s long bomb Sunday gives him four for the season, tying him with six other players for the league lead.
— Though it took Ogden more than a week to hit its first home run this season, the Raptors are now second in the league with 22. Grand Junction leads the league with 29. Ogden (.299) is also second to Idaho Falls (.304) in team batting average.
Sign up for e-mail news updates.