Brawl breaks out, Chukars go into 14th inning tied 7-7 with Raptors

By PAUL LAMBERT
prsports@postregister.com

Ogden Raptors rookie manager Jack McDowell threw a right hand at Idaho Falls manager Omar Ramirez, and it was on.

A 10th-inning fight broke out between the Raptors and Chukars at Melaleuca Field on Tuesday night, adding extra drama to an extra-inning thriller, a game that was tied 7-7 in the top of the 13th inning at Post Register deadline.

The confrontation began when Ogden designated hitter Justin Chigbogu took exception to something said by Idaho Falls catcher Pedro Gonzalez following Chigbogu’s three-pitch strikeout in the top of the 10th.

After reaching the third-base on-deck circle, Chigbogu flipped his bat and started shouting and walking toward Gonzalez.

At that point, home umpire Jordan Johnson got between the two, the benches and bullpens cleared, and more than 50 grown men began pushing and shoving midway between home plate and the pitching mound.

The much-taller McDowell was bumping and pointing in Ramirez’s face, and Ramirez was bumping and barking right back — finally shouting an audible, two-word curse.

McDowell threw the first punch, and that sent the entire throng from pushing to punching.

The teams separated once, and after some additional barking, snowballed on the infield again 90 seconds later.

A third fracas erupted as McDowell and Ramirez reached the clubhouse after both were ejected. Apparently, McDowell was waiting for Ramirez and the bulldogging began anew. Again both dugouts and bullpens made a mad dash to the clubhouse area.

After separating the teams a third time, Johnson had tossed McDowell, Chigbogu, Ogden catcher Julian Leon, pitching coach Greg Sabat and outfielders Colin Hering and Theo Alexander.

Ramirez was also thrown out, along with Idaho Falls pitcher Brooks Pounders and infielder Brooks Gomez.

Idaho Falls gave up a 7-2 lead to Ogden for the second straight night when the Raptors posted five runs in the eighth on three walks, a hit batsman and two hits.

The two teams won’t meet again until the end of the season, when they play five straight to close the Pioneer League’s second half.

CHUKARS CHATTER: Idaho Falls lost a pair of players to promotion this week, losing RHP Ashton Goudeau to the Lexington Legends (Class A long season), and INF Logan Davis to the Wilmington Blue Rocks (High Class A). … Robert Pehl extended hit hitting streak to 11 games with an RBI single in the fifth. … The Chukars have had 10 or more hits in 10 straight games at Melaleuca Field. … Both of Tuesday night’s pitchers, Bryan Brickhouse (I.F.) and Jeff Brigham (Ogden) had Tommy John surgery in 2013.

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