Raptors Suffer First Walk-Off Loss
BILLINGS, MT - After two days of close losses and with their ace taking the mound, the Ogden Raptors appeared ready to break out and finally take a game against the Billings Mustangs.
The Raptors finally took their first lead of the series, but the advantage fell apart quickly. The game was back-and-forth until the ninth, when the Mustangs walked off with one out for a 6-5 win.
With the game knotted up at five apiece, the Billings leadoff hitter reached on an infield hit to start the bottom of the ninth. A groundout moved the runner into scoring position, and after an automatic walk a ground ball into shallow right bounced away from Jeremy Arocho to allow the run to score.
Jose Chacin, Ogden's lone All-Star pitcher, got the ball and struggled in the first two innings. He allowed leadoff doubles in both, and Billings scored those two for a 2-0 lead.
Starting with the third, however, Chacin set down nine in a row to allow Ogden's offense to heat up and take the lead.
The Raptors put only one runner on base in the first two innings, but Niko Hulsizer took a leadoff walk in the third and advanced to second on an errant pickoff throw. Hulsizer advanced to third on a deep fly out ahead of a Jefrey Souffront walk, and Kenneth Betancourt drove a sacrifice fly to center field to score Hulsizer for the first Ogden run.
Matt Cogen then stepped in and hit a drive down the left field line that kicked up chalk. He sprinted all the way to third base for a triple with Souffront scoring to tie the game. That hit knocked the Mustangs starting pitcher out of the game, and Dillon Paulson greeted the new hurler with a blast to center that fell on the warning track for a triple of his own to give Ogden a 3-2 lead.
In the fourth, the visitors saw the first two batters retired on one pitch each. Hulsizer then lofted a hit to left field, and a Tre Todd smash up the middle hit the pitcher's legs and ricocheted toward the first base line for an infield hit. Souffront then bounced a ball up the middle for a third hit in a row and Hulsizer scored his second run of the game.
The Raptors' two-run lead held until the sixth. Chacin allowed his third leadoff double of the game but induced a pair of groundouts and seemed able to get through unscathed, but a seeing-eye single found its way into center field to make it 4-3. A bouncer to third was destined to end the frame, but Souffront couldn't pick it up cleanly and the Mustangs followed with an 0-2 single to tie the game.
Billings took the lead back in the seventh when another Souffront error let the leadoff man on base and, with one out, a sacrifice fly made it 5-4.
In the top of the eighth, the Raptors bounced back. Cogen drew a leadoff walk and Paulson doubled to put him on third. A Ronny Brito groundout scored Cogen and put Paulson on third base, but a pair of strikeouts stranded the potential go-ahead run on third.
The Raptors threatened in the ninth, with Todd and pinch-hitting Daniel Robinson reachin base with no outs. A fly out and another two strikeouts stranded the two in scoring position, allowing the Mustangs to put together their game-winning rally in the home half.
The finale of the four-game set is scheduled for 1:05 Sunday afternoon. The Raptors will look to salvage a game and avoid a sweep before heading to Great Falls for three games.
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Pioneer League Stories from August 12, 2018
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- Chukars' Offense Explodes for Series Split - Great Falls Voyagers
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- Raptors Score Big Late to Avoid Sweep, Beat Mustangs 15-11 - Billings Mustangs
- Chukars Erase Five-Run Deficit to Beat Voyagers - Great Falls Voyagers
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- Raptors Suffer First Walk-Off Loss - Ogden Raptors
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