Raps Blast Rox in Playoff Rematch
OGDEN, UT - It took nine months, but the Ogden Raptors finally received a chance to execute vengeance for the 2018 playoffs.
And sweet revenge, it was.
The Raptors opened their 2019 campaign with a 12-0 smashing of the visiting Grand Junction Rockies, who had ended the higher-seeded Raptors' season in excruciating fashion in the 2018 Pioneer League South Division playoffs.
Kevin Malisheski was masterful in his start, breezing through six shutout innings while allowing just two hits and striking out three. He was aided by an offense that pounded out 15 hits, including three from Sam McWilliams and four - two doubles and two home runs - by Justin Yurchak.
McWilliams kicked things off in the bottom of the first with a double on the 10th pitch of the at-bat, and he tagged and advanced to third on a deep fly out. Josh McLain then grounded out to bring home the first run of the game. Yurchak followed with a double on the first pitch he saw, and a shallow single from Sauryn Lao brought him across.
In the second, the first two Raptors were retired quickly. McWilliams hit a routine grounder, but the throw was high and he reached the bag before the first baseman came back down with the ball. The next pitch skipped to the backstop, and McWilliams blazed all the way around to third base on the wild toss. A one-hop shot past the third baseman off the bat of Andy Pages scored McWilliams, and McLain followed by striking out but reaching on a wild pitch. Yurchak got ahead in the count and then hammered a pitch over Raptor Ridge for a 6-0 lead.
Ogden picked up three more in the fourth as McWilliams launched a solo shot to left leading off the inning, Pages and McLain singled and Yurchak hit his second double to bring in Pages. McLain then scored on a wild pitch.
The visitors put their first runners on base against Malisheski with hits in the fifth and sixth, but Ogden's big right-hander worked around the trouble.
In the bottom of the sixth, Yurchak led off with his second home run of the game, a solo shot giving him five RBI and putting the Raptors in front by 10. A Lao single was followed by a wild pitch and Ramon Rodriguez double high off the right-field fence for run number 11.
The hosts wrapped up the scoring in the seventh, as Jon Littell's bases-loaded single brought home McLain.
The Raptors host the Rockies on Saturday night at 7 for the second game of this four-game, season-opening series. Saturday and Sunday make up the first America First Credit Union weekend, where showing your AFCU credit or debit card at the Raptors' box office will allow you up to eight free reserved box seat tickets! It's also the first Date Night of the year - if you purchase a ticket, the Raptors will buy your date's ticket!
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Pioneer League Stories from June 15, 2019
- Webb Spins Gem to Give Chukars Opening Night Win - Idaho Falls Chukars
- Seismic Sixth Turns Tide for Chukars - Idaho Falls Chukars
- Osprey Offense Stalls in First Loss of Season - Missoula Osprey
- Medrano Makes Statement in Pioneer League Debut, But Mustangs Fall 4-3 - Billings Mustangs
- D-Backs Assign Brickhouse to Osprey - Missoula Osprey
- Rockies Shut out 12-0 in Season Opener - Grand Junction Rockies
- Voyagers Drop Season Opener to Missoula - Great Falls Voyagers
- Owlz Combine for One-Hitter - Orem Owlz
- Raps Blast Rox in Playoff Rematch - Ogden Raptors
- Osprey Take Season Opener against Voyagers - Missoula Osprey
- Bullpen Battle Goes to Chukars, 5-2, on Opening Day - Billings Mustangs