In the very first knock-out derby, Ogden Raptors lose 8-7 to Idaho Falls | Ogden raptors
OGDEN – History was made at Lindquist Field on Wednesday night, although the home team likely prefer the memory to be a little happier.
With a 2-1 decision in the first-ever knock-out derby in the history of the Raptors, Ogden lost to the Idaho Falls Chukars by a score of 8-7 to open a three-game series between the teams.
The Pioneer League knock-out round is the first of its kind in professional baseball. Instead of extra innings that can weigh on independent teams’ squads, games that are tied by regulation go to a home run derby shootout where one player from each team has 10 pitches for five swings.
As a visitor, Idaho Falls went first and sent catcher Brady West to the plate, who had a double homer in his name that night. West’s first swing sent a towering fly to right field that clinked off the fair pole for a point, and his fourth swing similarly flew over the fence to the right for his second homer.
Ogden called first baseman / designated hitter David Maberry. In his first three swings he popped harmless flies, which meant he had to convert his last two swings to keep the knock out going. Maberry shot his fourth swing into the net at the back of the left observation deck for a homer, but he shot his final swing toward midfield, where it fell into the grass.
Idaho Falls (24-10) has won 12 straight wins and has come to an impasse with Missoula (24-10) for the North Division with 14 games remaining in the first half.
Ogden (22-12) is 3-7 in his last 10 games and an emerging Grand Junction (18-16) is now within four games in the South Division.
Jakob Goldfarb scored 2 for 3, based four times, stole four bases and scored three runs for Ogden. He scored in the first round when Maberry took a base-filled pitch hit. Kyle Kaufman then hit a two-run double to give Ogden a 4-0 lead after the first inning.
But Idaho Falls’ league-leading offensive was pushed back. Sam Little hit a solo homer in the third, Matt Feinstein hit a 2-run homer in the fourth, and West hit his two-run homer in the fourth to put the Chukars 6-4 ahead.
Goldfarb led the fifth with a single, stole the second and third, and scored when Josh Broughton beat an infield single to make it 6-5.
New Ogden pitcher Andrew Fernandez hit one of three late-inning jams in sixth and got a line-out and a fly-out after the Chukars knocked the runners into second and third place.
Ogden’s Chuck Steele took out Nick Michaels in the sixth to tie it 6-6, only for Idaho Falls to immediately go 7-6 on a groundout with two. Mitchell Miller hit two batter with a runner on third to keep that score.
Goldfarb led seventh place, stole second, finished third, and scored 7-7 with a Maberry single in the middle.
In the top of ninth, Tyler Kelly performed with a single for Idaho Falls and moved up to second place with a sacrifice motley. Reza Aleaziz beat the league leader Webb Little after a 3-0 defeat and then went a batter with two outs.
Aleaziz threw a wild pitch to get both runners into goal position but knocked out Andrew Don to end the frame 7-7.
The two teams will play again on Thursday and Friday at 7pm before the Raptors take to the streets in Boise July 3-5.
Grand Junction 9, Rocky Mountain 1
Great Falls 4, Billings 3