OGDEN – If they hadn’t lost a Knock Out derby on Wednesday, the Ogden Raptors would be leading on a three-game sweep against former leaders in other divisions.
Anthony Donatella got off to a good start, Ogden hit 20 hits and the Raptors beat Idaho Falls 14-8 on Friday night at Lindquist Field, winning the series 2-1.
Ogden (24-12) pushed back his lead in the Pioneer League South Division to 5 1/2 games against Grand Junction (18-17) with 12 games remaining in the first half. Idaho Falls (24-12) loses two games behind Missoula (26-10) in the North Division.
For the second game in a row, Idaho Falls got a solo first inning shot, this time from Matt Feinstein, and the Chukars took the lead 1-0.
Ogden’s Jakob Goldfarb, back in midfield after catching up on Thursday, responded with a solo homerun in the lower half, his 11th league-leading dinger, to equalize, and Josh Broughton passed Raul Shah for a lead 2-1 after a set. The Raptors have held that lead throughout.
Goldfarb, Broughton, Pavin Parks and Nick Michaels all had three hits. Parks doubled twice and produced four runs, and the Raptors had five doubles and the Goldfarb homerun among 20 hits.
Donatella pitched six full innings, allowing two runs, four hits and seven strikeouts. His other point came on a Tyler Kelly solo homerun to open the third inning. By the time Donatella was no longer the record pitcher, Ogden was leading 8-2 after Parks doubled to a pair in the bottom of the sixth.
It became risky for Ogden to throw at the top of the seventh. Andrew Mitchel took the mound, gave up a single, a double and walked a batter to charge the bases. Chris Campbell took over and didn’t get away, and the Chukars reduced him to 8-6 when a double play crossed the fourth point of the IF inning.
Campbell gave up a little more in the eighth, and he and Mitchel combined to give up six earned runs in a 1 1/3 inning. Broughton took the mound from the outfield and pitched almost perfect 1 2/3 innings to close it. Broughton’s lone baserunner had two strikeouts in the ninth when he struck out Andrew Don on catches on a wild pitch, so Don hit base.
However, Ogden’s hitters made the midfielder’s struggles a draw, with a six-run inning in the bottom of the seventh. With one out, Goldfarb started the rally with a single, then stole the second and third, giving him eight stolen goals in the series and 17 for the season, which now leads the league.
David Maberry hit a single loaded with bases to score one. Jack Johnson landed at the shortstop with goals loaded but the short-to-second rally was too slow and IF second baseman Steve Barmakian held the ball instead of trying to overtake Johnson in the beginning.
Meanwhile, as the runner on third was scoring, Broughton circled around on third without stopping and, by the time Barmakian realized it, his pitch was too late. Broughton scored from the second goal from a shortstop for the second game in a row.
Parks doubled at Johnson, Michaels doubled at Parks and, when the dust settled, Ogden regained his lead.
The Raptors have now hit the road for three games at Boise from Saturday to Monday. After a day of travel on Tuesday, Ogden hosts Missoula for a six-game homestand from July 7 to 12.
Rocky Mountain 10, Grand Junction 2
Great Falls 8, Billings 6