OGDEN — Monday’s game between the Billings Mustangs and the Ogden Raptors was, at 2 hours and 14 minutes, the fastest game played in the Pioneer League this season.
Tuesday’s game started fast but, by the end, it was easy to forget that Billings once led 3-1 after the Raptors started kicking the ball around.
Ogden ripped Billings to pieces to give himself an 11-3 lead, then hit three homers to cap the fifth inning en route to a 21-6 victory at Lindquist Field.
The Mustangs (45-39, 20-18) rebuilt the hits for one run in each of the top three, building a 3-1 lead against Raptors (48-38, 19-19) starter Ronny Orta.
Ogden’s third run then looked like this: Dakota Conners single, Josh Broughton single, Pat Adams sacrifice bunt, Brian Dansereau single, Sonny Ulliana single. That gave the Raptors a 5-3 lead.
Former Raptors pitcher Jack Cunningham took the mound in the fourth for Billings and his return to Lindquist Field wasn’t one he’d like to remember. Three singles to start the inning then produced a run when Adams drew a goal-laden walk, and another run when Jesus Valdez netted his 100th RBI of the season with a sacrifice fly to make it 7-3.
Valdez is one of two players in the league (Jayson Newman of Missoula) with 100 or more RBIs this season.
Things got worse for Cunningham in the fifth. After a one-out walk, Logan Williams singled, Conners singled, Broughton doubled to the paint down the left field line and Adams singled in two to make it 11-3 .
Byron Smith replaced Cunningham and Dansereau skied a three-run homer to left center. Reese Alexiades followed with a 410-foot solo homer to center right away, measured at 103 mph from his bat, for a 15-3 lead. Freddy Achecar finished the inning with a solo shot off the right field line to make it 16-3.
Orta picked up the win, allowing three runs on six hits, striking out six and walking three in five innings.
Billings put position player Jordan Hovey on the mound in the eighth and Ogden predictably racked up more runs, highlighted by Alexiades’ second three-run homer of the night, a nearly identical dinger down the center measured at 412 feet, for the final count.
Broughton had four hits and doubled twice. Valdez doubled twice. Alexiades drove in his six runs and Dansereau had five RBIs. Ogden had 22 hits.
Both teams continue the series at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Ogden 21, Billings 6
Rockies 13, Northern Colorado 2
Northern Colorado 8, Rockies 7
Boise 16, Grand Junction 2
Missoula 9, Glacier 4
Great Falls 17, Idaho Falls 7
PIONEER LEAGUE STANDINGS
Second half – 10 games to play
*Missoula 26-12 (61-24 overall)
Billing 20-18 (45-39)
Idaho Falls 18-19 (45-40)
Glacier 18-19 (35-49)
Big falls 16-20 (43-40)
Grand Junction 27-10 (53-32)
Rockies 19-18 (34-49)
* Oden 19-19 (48-38)
Northern Colorado 14-24 (31-52)
Woody 10-27 (27-58)
*- indicates 1st half champion