Ogden Raptors rally on Roller’s homer, Amaya’s triple to defeat Helena Brewers
OGDEN — It was nearly the same situation for Ogden shortstop Jacob Amaya in which he failed earlier, but against a top arm with the game on the line, he delivered.
Trailing 6-5 in the eighth inning with runners on second and third, Amaya lofted what proved to be a game-winning triple over the head of Helena Brewers right fielder LG Castillo, sending 4,104 fans into a frenzy and helping the Raptors to an 8-6 win Saturday at Lindquist Field.
Jacob Amaya lights up the crowd with a two-run TRIPLE and the Raptors lead 7-6 pic.twitter.com/QhAGydtzFq— StandardEx Raptors (@RaptorsSE) July 15, 2018
It was a positive outcome after a night full of empty chances. While trailing throughout, the Raptors (19-10) left five runners in scoring position between the second and fifth innings — Amaya himself leaving runners on second and third in the fourth inning.
Amaya’s heroic swing couldn’t have happened without another. After James Outman walked with one out in the eighth, Ogden outfielder Chris Roller skied a two-run bomb that touched down on the left-field spectator deck, cutting the deficit to 6-5 to set up Amaya.
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Ronny Brito completed the big inning with a single to plate Amaya for the final score. All five runs came against Helena (15-14) lefty Aaron Ashby, Milwaukee’s fourth-round draft pick this season.
Brett De Geus threw 4 2/3 innings in his start for Ogden. He ran into trouble in a few spots, notably the second inning when David Fry and Je’Von Ward blasted solo no-doubters to put the Brewers up 2-0.
Trouble came again in the fifth when Jean Carmona missed a home run by 3 feet, doubling off the right-field wall. Ricardo Hernandez relieved De Geus and met the same fate when Eddie Silva missed a homer high off Raptor Ridge, doubling in two runs for a 4-1 lead.
Hernandez, making his Ogden debut, then surrendered a two-run lined shot off Castillo’s bat to put the Raptors behind 6-1.
Hunter Speer picked up the win on the mound, throwing scoreless eighth and ninth innings while giving up one hit and striking out one.
Drew Avans led Ogden at the plate, hitting 3 for 4.
The two teams play the second of a three-game series at 4 p.m. Sunday.
NEWS & NOTES
— Missoula blasted Idaho Falls (16-13) 12-0 on Saturday. That gives Ogden a three-game lead — plus the tiebreaker — over Idaho Falls with nine games remaining in the first half. A first-half title guarantees a playoff berth in September.
— Entering Saturday’s game, Ogden held an 89-85 all-time series advantage over Helena since the Raptors began play in 1994 — unless you account for Helena’s two championship sweeps over Ogden, which made it 89-89.
With Helena set to relocate to Colorado Springs before next season, that means the team who wins the overall seven-game series over the next 10 days can claim the 25-season series.