Thursday , July 12, 2018 - 10:27 PM
OGDEN — Many fans at Lindquist Field weren’t at the ballpark yet Thursday when the Missoula Osprey chased Ogden Raptors starter Kevin Malisheski out of the game with two home runs in the top of the first to go up 4-0.
And still, many fans weren’t in their seats when the Raptors responded with two long balls and four runs of their own in the bottom half, a 419-foot bomb to dead center by Drew Avans and an opposite-field shot by Ronny Brito.
Everyone who watched the game from the first inning on saw a different Ogden team. It wasn’t the team that has hit the ball like it’s going out of style, fought tooth and nail in ballgames this year and crushed opposing teams of late.
Instead, this was the Raptors team of early in the season as the Osprey (14-13) scored 11 runs on 12 hits to hand Ogden (17-10) an 11-4 loss.
“It was tough to be down right away 4-0. Our offense did a great job answering back right away,” Raptors manager Jeremy Rodriguez said. “I thought their pitcher (Erin Baldwin) did a great job, he pounded his fastball, he was aggressive and he attacked our hitters.”
Brito now has an 11-game hitting streak, during which time he’s gone 20 for 49 at the plate with two homers, five doubles, 12 RBIs and raised his batting average from .281 to .348.
“He’s been taking great, quality at-bats,” Rodriguez said. “I think when he gets in trouble is when he starts to do a little too much, but overall he’s been doing a great job these last couple of weeks.”
The 4-4, first-inning tie lasted until the fifth inning when Missoula retook the lead with a Buddy Kennedy single. Alex King singled with two outs to score a run and Jefrey Souffront’s throw was way off target, which brought the Osprey’s seventh run home.
Ogden managed just one hit after the first inning. Missoula, meanwhile, ground its boot into Ogden with a four-run seventh inning to go ahead 11-4.
The only other thing Raptors fans had to cheer about after the first inning was an absolutely outstanding diving catch by Chris Roller in deep center field to deny a sure double by Brandon Leyton.
Ogden now has a one-game lead in the Pioneer League South Division after Idaho Falls beat Helena on Thursday.
Pitcher Riley Richert was called up to Great Lakes (Class A-Michigan) on Thursday. Richert made two appearances for Ogden this season, the most recent of which came against Orem on June 22.
In those two appearances, Richert allowed three earned runs with a 6/2 walk-to-strikeout ratio in just 1 1/3 innings.
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