Wednesday , July 04, 2018 - 10:20 PM
It’s the old cliche: fireworks on the field before fireworks after the game.
The Ogden Raptors opened their five-game series at Grand Junction with several bangs Wednesday, obliterating the Rockies 22-7 with an Independence Day offensive showcase at Suplizio Field.
Four Raptors homered, a newcomer racked up total bases and Ogden rallied for an eight-run fifth inning that gave them a 16-1 lead, totaling 21 hits — giving them seven straight games with double-digit hits.
Infielder Miguel Vargas, in his third game with the Raptors (13-7) after debuting July 2, couldn’t be stopped at the plate. He hit 4 for 4 with three doubles, a triple and three RBIs in only five innings to help the early lead-building.
Vargas, 18, is now hitting .700 early in his Raptors tenure. His triple came in the fourth inning and drove in two runs, taking home on a throwing error to try and get him out at third base, putting Ogden up 8-1.
It got much worse for Grand Junction (9-11) in the fifth inning. Not only did the Raptors score eight runs in the frame, they all came with two outs.
Ogden strung together six consecutive hits — including doubles from Vargas, Matt Cogen and Dillon Paulson — in the onslaught, compounding two walks and a fielding error.
The rally was complete when Jair Camargo singled to score James Outman and Niko Hulsizer to make it 16-1.
Paulson and Hulsizer each homered in the seventh inning to make it 19-4.
Ronny Brito helped Ogden cross the 20-run mark. He hit a two-run homer in the eighth, then added an RBI double in the ninth.
Trailing 22-4, Rockies outfielder Niko Decolati hit a three-run homer off Ogden reliever Jasiel Alvino in the ninth for the final tally.
Among the offensive notables: Brito, Cogen, Paulson, Vargas and Camargo each drove in three runs. After Vargas’ four hits, Brito, Paulson and Camargo each had three.
James Outman, the Dodgers’ seventh-round pick this year, continued his slump-breaking efforts. He hit 2 for 4 with two RBI singles.
The Raptors totaled 12 two-out RBIs and hit 10 for 20 with runners in scoring position, hitting seven doubles for the game.
Lost in the barrage was Ogden starter Joel Inoa, who moved to 2-0 by throwing a five-inning start. He gave up seven hits, but allowed only one earned run, striking out five while walking one in the victory.
Justin Hagenman, Gregorio Sequera and Reza Aleaziz each threw a scoreless inning before Alvino was touched up in the ninth. Hagenman and Aleaziz each struck out two Rockies.
The two teams continue their five-game set with Game 2 on Thursday.
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