Lao Launches Pair in Raptors Rout
GRAND JUNCTION, CO - Every member of the Ogden Raptors starting lineup had at least one hit, helping the team to their biggest run-scoring output since late-July, and the Raptors crushed the Grand Junction Rockies, 14-2, for their second win to start their four-game series.
The 14 runs are the most put up by the Raptors since a 14-1 win over Orem on July 27.
Sauryn Lao led the bats with four hits, including a pair of two-run homers, and scored four times. Marco Hernandez also stroked four hits, with two doubles part of Ogden's season-best seven two-baggers in a single game.
The Raptors fell behind in the first on two singles sandwiched around a sacrifice bunt to score a run for Grand Junction, but a second-inning rally put the visitors in front for good.
Zac Ching opened the second by taking a four-pitch walk. Lao and Andrew Shaps both singled to center to load the bases, and Jon Littell lined a hit to left-center to drive in two for the lead.
In the third, Andy Pages was hit by the first pitch. He advanced to second on a groundout, and with two out Pages broke for third base. The catcher's throw sailed into left field, bringing in Pages for a 3-1 lead.
Ogden broke the game open in the fourth. With one out, Aldrich De Jongh doubled to right. He scored on a Hernandez double, and leadoff man Jeremy Arocho took a walk. Pages doubled to left to score Hernandez and bring Arocho to third, then a wild pitch plated Arocho and moved Pages 90 feet from the plate. Jorbit Vivas and Ching hammered consecutive RBI doubles, bringing Lao to the plate for the third time on the night. The 20-year-old third baseman lined a 1-2 pitch over the tall left field wall, his fifth homer of the year and an exclamation point on a seven-run frame for a 10-1 Raptors lead.
The top of the sixth began with Lao crushing a drive to center that was dropped for a two-base error. A walk and singled loaded the bases, and Hernandez capitalized with a sacrifice fly for his second RBI of the game.
Grand Junction picked up a run on a double play with the bases loaded and no outs in the sixth to pull within 11-2, but Lao went oppo for his second blast of the night, another two-run shot, in the seventh.
The final run scored when Hernandez and Arocho both doubled in the eighth.
On the mound, Yeison Cespedes bounced back from a rough first start in almost three years on August 17 with four solid frames, giving up just one run on four hits and striking out four.
Nelfri Contreras earned the win by throwing two innings in relief, and Hunter Speer and Mitchell Tyranski combined for three scoreless frames with six strikeouts.
The Raptors go for the four-game series win Friday night, with the first pitch scheduled for 6:40 at Suplizio Field.
• Discuss this story on the Pioneer League message board...
Pioneer League Stories from August 23, 2019
- Owlz Overpowered by Vibes, 14-4 - Orem Owlz
- Osprey Get Go Ahead for Final Homestand - Missoula Osprey
- Rox Blasted in Fifth Straight Loss - Grand Junction Rockies
- Lao Launches Pair in Raptors Rout - Ogden Raptors
- Voyagers Go Extras for First Walk-Off Win - Great Falls Voyagers
- Owlz Stun Vibes, Score Five in Ninth - Orem Owlz
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.