Raptors Squeeze Their Way into Finals

The Raptors are not ready to end the season just yet and pointed that out forcefully at Orem in the second game of the Pioneer Division Playoffs, beating the Owlz 10-8 on the strength of a two-RBI single by Steve Caseres in the 10th and strong relief pitching by Luis Garcia.

If the Ogden Raptors are Dodger historians, they must be thinking of the 1988 National League Championship Series where the Dodgers, loser of 10 of ll games to the Mets during the regular season, dumped them four games to three, then sailed past Oakland to win the World Series. Orem had topped Ogden 12 of 16 meetings during the regular season and won the first game of the playoff in Ogden 8-1.

Facing elimination and rejecting the thought of the 13 losses to Orem, the remarkably resilant Raptors came from behind, beat off an Orem rally in the last of the ninth and broke through with a pair of runs in the 10th to force a final game tonight.

First baseman Steve Caseres drove in Nick Buss and Travis Vetters in the 10th to break a 6-6 tie and Cole St. Clair pitched around a walk and an error in the bottom of the inning to save the win for reliever Luis Garcia.

?Tonight's winner will advance to the Pioneer League Championship to take on the Great Falls Voyagers Wednesday in Montana. Games 2 and 3 of the finals will be in Utah on Friday, and Saturday if necessary. ?

?The lead changed hands six times and was tied three times before it went into the extra inning and the last scoring changes was a charm for Ogden.

Dee Gordon lived on an error and Tony Delmonico singled in the first inning. Gordon scored on a ground ball by Travis Vetters.

Orem tagged Michael Watt for a leadoff triple and helped by throwing errors by Pedro Baez and Caseres, scored two in the bottom of the inning.

Caseres doubled and scored on Matt Wallach's single to tie the game in the second but Orem rapped a triple and a pair of singles in the third. Only a swift double play kept the damage at a single run but the Owlz led 3-2 at that point.

Kyle Russell singled and stole second, then Baez walked before Wallach's second hit of the game drove in Russell to re-tie the game at three each. Gordon's triple drove in Baez and Wallach to give the Raptors a 5-3 lead.

Orem tagged Watt for another pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth and the two clubs went into the seventh tied 5-5.

Gordon opened the seventh with his second triple down and manager Mike Brumley surprised everyone by calling for a squeeze bunt. Buss reacted perfectly, dumping the ball down the first base line as Gordon scored easily, allowing Ogden to regain the lead.

Garcia replaced Watt in the bottom of the seventh and worked a pair of innings before giving up a two-out, RBI single in the ninth. He allowed a third base hit to load the bases before he struck out the final Owlz batter to send the game into extra innings.

In the 10th, Buss singled and Vetters was hit by a pitch. Russell bunted them into scoring position and Caseres drove them across with a clean single to right field.?

?Ogden overcame defensive lapses while tying the series. The Raptors made five errors in the game and have now committed eight in the series. Orem had two errors on Sunday and have made four in the series. ?

?Ogden will send the league leader in wins, Jon Dutton (9-2), to the mound. He will square off against Buddy Bosheres (5-0). Both pitchers are left-handed.

  Score by Innings
Ogden	110 300 100 2-8
orem	201 200 001 0-6
  
  Ogden	        ab r  h  bi  ave
Gordon ss	5  2  2  1  .200
Delmonico 2b	5  0  1  0  .300
Buss cf        	4  1  1  1  .250
Vetters lf	4  1  1  1  .125
Russell rf	3  1  0  0  .143
Caseres 1b	5  1  0  2  .444
Baez 3b        	4  1  0  0  .250
Wallach c	4  1  2  1  .500
Calfee dh	4  0  1  1  .250
Ruggiano pr-dh	0  0  0  0  .000
  Totals	38 8 10 4
  Orem	        42 6 14 4

  Errors- Baez (2), Caseres (1),
Gordon (1), Wallach (1), Delmonico
(2). 2B- Caseres (2). 3B- Gordon 2
(2). RBI- Vetters (1), Calfee (1),
Wallach (1), Gordon (1), Buss (1),
Caseres 2 (2). S- Buss; Russell.
LOB- Ogden 6, Orem 11. SB- Russell
(1), Baez (1). DP- Gordon, Delmonico
Caseres 2; Delmonico, Gordon and 
Caseres; Watt and Gordon. 

  Ogden	         in  h  r-er bb so  era
Watt        	6.0 11  5-4  1  1  6.00
Garcia (1-0)	3.0  3  1-1  2  3  3.00
St Clair (sv 1)	1.0  0  0-0  1  1  0.00
  HBP- Vetters. T- 3:00. Att- 1,391.

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