OGDEN – A back-and-forth battle on Sunday in a monumental series for the two teams resulted in the Pioneer League’s only tiebreaker at Lindquist Field, the Knock Out Round home run derby.
With his first stroke of the second round, Ogden Raptors outfielder Jakob Goldfarb, the league’s home run leader, put his powerful bat through the zone, connected with his cannon, and took a few hits on the line. first base as his big fly cleared. the correct field fence.
His teammates took to the pitch by storm, celebrating not only a victory over the Missoula Paddleheads after the game reached the end of the tie 4-4, but also the end of a three-game losing streak and, more importantly, their victory against the Southern Pioneer League. Divisional First Half Championship – ensuring the Raptors play playoff baseball in September.
The Raptors (28-16) clinched the title with four games left in the half. As they entered this series with a 5-1 / 2-game lead over Grand Junction and nine games to go, Ogden played six games against a team from Missoula (31-13) with the league’s best record who was also trying to fight Idaho. Fall for the title in the first half of the North Division.
Ogden’s breakthrough on Sunday put Idaho Falls and Missoula tied in the North, with IF holding the tiebreaker.
Sunday’s game has never seen a lead greater than a point. McLain O’Connor hit a solo homerun to open the scoring for Missoula in the third, and Ogden outfielder Josh Broughton responded with his own solo homerun in the lower half.
O’Connor put his team ahead 2-1 in the fifth with an RBI single. The Raptors quickly took the lead in the bottom of the fifth when Goldfarb started with a double, and Broughton and Pavin Parks followed with back-to-back trebles.
But, Parks was sent off at home on Nick Michaels’ floor at the shortstop and Ogden’s lead came to a standstill at 3-2.
The Paddleheads tied it 3-3 when Nick Gatewood hit a solo homerun in the start of the seventh. Parks led the bottom half with a double and, after going for third on a David Maberry single, was again tossed home on Michaels’ shortstop. But with two strikeouts, Brock Ephan managed a single RBI to give Ogden a 4-3 lead.
Brandon Riley scored Luke Navigato on the ground of choice for a defensive player in the eighth, but Ogden pitcher Colt Mink swung Gatewood with runners in the corners to end the threat.
Tied 4-4 after settlement, Zach Almond struck first in the derby for the visitors, and neither he nor Ogden’s Parks touched any of their five allowed swings in 10 throws over the fence.
Jared Akins couldn’t hit any to start the second round for Missoula, and that’s when Goldfarb stepped up his winning swing.
Ogden beat Missoula 15-7 in the win. Broughton and Ephan each had three hits for the Raptors, as the two join league-leading Maberry with batting averages over 0.400.
Both teams finish their streak at 7 p.m. Monday. After Tuesday off, Ogden will travel to Idaho Falls for a three-game series Wednesday through Friday to complete the first half.
The Raptors then come home against Idaho Falls, opening the second half with a three-game series Saturday through Monday at Lindquist Field.
SCORES and RANKS to be added at the end of all matches
Ogden 4, Missoula 4 (Ogden wins via Knock Out)
Billings 5, Great Falls 2
Idaho Falls 18, Rocky Mountain 2
Grand Junction 17, Boise 12
* – won the first half