Clutch Hits in 10th Propel Raptors to Victory
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - After consecutive wins at home in extra innings over the Missoula Osprey a week ago, the Ogden Raptors seemed ready for their next extra-frames battle.
It came in a nailbiter Monday night at the Rocky Mountain Vibes.
Jorbit Vivas and Brandon Lewis stroked two-out hits in the 10th to break a tie, and Jacob Cantleberry didn't let a batter reach base in the home half as the Raptors prevailed, 3-2, for their third victory in extra innings in the past seven games.
Despite accumulating 10 hits in regulation, the Raptors were held to one run by the Vibes. Ogden's pitching also held down the Rocky Mountain offense, escaping multiple threatening situations to keep the game knotted at one run apiece.
In the top of the 10th, Jeremy Arocho was placed on second base, by rule, to start the frame. The first two hitters struck out and grounded out, and Arocho was left on second. Vivas, however, ripped a 1-2 offering past the first baseman into right field and Arocho sped home for the go-ahead run. Vivas then stole second and was able to sprint across the plate on a bloop into shallow right by Lewis.
The bottom third of the order came through to put the Raptors on the board in the fifth. Aldrich De Jongh singled to right and stole second, putting him in position to score on a Ramon Rodriguez line drive single to left.
That was the only time, in the first nine innings, that Ogden put a runner in scoring position with less than two outs. The host Vibes, on the other hand, threatened consistently.
Alfredo Tavarez, coming off his best start of the year with seven shutout innings and no walks against Missoula, was less sharp - walking four while allowing two hits in just short of six innings. He walked the second batter of the game and committed a throwing error on a pickoff move to put the runner on third, but Tavarez buckled down and struck out the next two batters to strand the runner.
In the third, a walk and single combined with a one-out hit batter loaded the bases. Lewis helped Tavarez by throwing home for a force on a grounder to first, and another strikeout left the bases loaded.
Tavarez stranded a one-out double in the fourth, but a 10-pitch plate appearance that resulted in a one-out walk in the sixth proved his undoing. He stayed in to record a strikeout, his sixth of the night, for the second out, but was removed due to a high pitch count. Corey Merrill entered the game, and the first pitch he threw was bashed off the left-field wall and the runner scored from first to tie the game.
Rocky Mountain loaded the bases in the seventh with one out, but Merrill induced a double play to end the frame and keep the game tied.
In the bottom of the ninth, a Drew Finley walk put a runner on first with one out. Cantleberry entered and struck out a batter before throwing a wild pitch, putting the potential winning run in scoring position. An intentional walk created a force play, but Arocho leaped in the air to snare a line drive off the bat of the cleanup hitter and prevent the Vibes from winning the game.
Rocky Mountain used a fly to right and groundout to plate the runner who started on second in the bottom of the 10th, but Cantleberry recorded a three-pitch strikeout to end the game.
The Raptors play the Vibes for their final scheduled game in Colorado Springs for the season Tuesday night at 6:40, before heading to Grand Junction for a four-game series.
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