The top two teams in the Pioneer League South Division began a six-game series, the only set between the two in the second half, on Tuesday at Grand Junction.
Although the Ogden Raptors got a classic Ronny Orta start from one of the team’s two aces, the Rockies opened the series with a 3-2 win at Suplizio Field.
The Rockies got Orta early for a 2-0 lead, but he settled in and completed seven innings striking out a pair in the bottom of the seventh.
At the time of his departure, the Raptors had drawn 2-2 through center fielder Reese Alexiades.
Alexiades stole a home run from GJ (36-25, 10-3) shortstop Shawn Ross in the bottom of the sixth, jumping high off the wall into the left center lane to keep it 2-0.
The following half inning, after Jesus Valdez doubled up with one out, Alexiades homered two runs to center right for the tie at 2-2 and knocked out GJ starter Izzy Fuentes.
Ogden (36-25, 7-6) almost took the lead later in the set. With Freddy Achecar in second, Ross caught up by diving a Dakota Conners liner that would otherwise have tagged Achecar, finishing in the lead of seventh.
Brandon McCabe relieved Orta in the eighth inning and, after getting a great play for an out from Conners, walked two batters before retiring Ross.
Ogden made a pitching switch to left-hander Jake Mulholland for a left-on-left game, and the Rockies responded by pinching hitting Utah native and Bingham High School alumnus Colin Gordon. Gordon selected the mound in the middle to score the winning run.
No box scores or further details were available Tuesday night.
Grand Junction 3, Ogden 2
Northern Colorado 8, Rockies 7
Idaho Falls 12, Boise 10
Billings 5, Glacier 2
Missoula 9, Great Falls 8 (via Knockout – 3 laps)
PIONEER LEAGUE STANDINGS
*Missoula 8-5 (43-17 overall)
Idaho Falls 8-5 (36-25)
Big drop 7-6 (34-26)
Billing 6-7 (31-28)
Glacier 4-9 (21-39)
Grand Junction 10-3 (36-25)
Northern Colorado 7-5 (24-33)
* Oden 7-6 (36-25)
Rockies 4-8 (20-38)
Woody 3-10 (20-41)
*- denotes first half champion