By Luke O’Roark | Post Register | @LukeORoark
You might want to check your car for dents if you were at Melaleuca Field Wednesday night.
The Raptors blasted two home runs and took advantage of three oppositional fielding errors, to beat the Chukars 13-8 at Melaleuca Field in front of 1,579 fans.
Ogden tallied 15 hits against Idaho Falls’ three pitchers, Dillon Drabble, Garrettson Harris and Andrew Beckwith, to hand the Chukars’ their fourth loss in five games.
Idaho Falls has allowed 58 runs during that span.
With the win, Ogden keeps its playoff hopes alive at 36-22 (14-7 second half). Idaho Falls’ chances continue to dip, falling to 26-33 (9-12).
The Raptors are 5-3 when playing the Chukars this season.
Despite Ogden’s hot offense at Melaleuca Field, the Chukars did respond with runs of their own Wednesday, peaking when first baseman Robby Rinn slugged a two-run home run to revitalize the Chukars in the bottom of the eighth.
Rinn finished the night 2 for 3 at the plate.
But the Chukars — the worst pitching, and most undisciplined, team in the Pioneer League — fell in similar fashion. They simply couldn’t prevent the Raptors from circling the bases throughout Wednesday’s three-hour bout.
After Drabble surrendered two home runs during the first two frames, the Chukars got onto the board thanks to Cristhian Vasquez and Matt Morales RBIs.
— Luke O’Roark (@LukeORoark) August 24, 2017
Freddy Fermin and Darrell Miller Jr. then squeezed the Raptors’ four-run lead after Fermin hit in a run and Miller walked home, respectively, to cut Ogden’s lead to two.
But a sloppy fifth innings, which included a throwing error from Morales that allowed an extra base runner, helped the Raptors to score four runs.
The Raptors’ damage continued in the top of the ninth frame when the Raptors scored three runs off Harris. Harris finished the night with five hits, three earned runs in 2.2 innings pitched for a 9.00 ERA. He struck out three batters. Drabble (1-3) took the loss after allowing seven earned runs on 10 hits and two home runs.
Idaho Falls’ offense failed to respond as Fermin, Vasquez and Gonzalez all struck out in the top of the ninth.
To start the night, Ogden took an early 3-0 lead after a 424-foot, three-run homer by Mitchell Hansen flew over the right wall during the first inning. It was Hansen’s ninth home run of 2017.
Connor Heady continued the damage, hitting a three-run home run to extend Ogden’s lead to 6-0. It was also over the right wall.
Two early home runs set the tone, as the Chukars’ offense couldn’t carry their weak pitching and three fielding errors.
Player (s) of the game:
Robby Rinn. Rinn finished 2 for 3 at the plate with a two-run home run during the top of the eighth. He was also walked twice.
– Attendance was announced as 1,578 Wednesday night.
Idaho Falls will return to Melaleuca Field for game two against Ogden. First pitch is at 7:15 p.m.