(Voyagers Media Release)
Ogden, UT-The Voyagers surrendered three home runs and left 10 men stranded in suffering a 7-4 loss to the Ogden Raptors in game 1 of the Pioneer League Championship Series Thursday night at Lindquist Field.
Great Falls (0-1) suffered its first playoff loss after sweeping Missoula in the Division Series. Ogden (1-0) improved to 3-0 in the postseason.
The Raptors wasted no time in scoring first. Donovan Casey led off the bottom of the 1st with a triple to the gap in right-center that reached the wall. After a walk of Luis Paz, Rylan Bannon banged a three-run home run that just cleared the wall into the left field corner. Ogden added a line drive solo home run deep to right by Luis Paz in the 3rd for a 4-0 cushion.
The Voyagers cracked the scoreboard in the 4th. J.J. Muno led off the inning with a walk. Muno later advanced to third on an errant pick-off throw behind first. With one out, Nate Nolan socked his third playoff home run in as many games deep to right-center and it was 4-2.
In the 5th, Gersel Pitre and Kevin LaChance both reached with line drive singles for Ogden. Two outs later, Rylan Bannon was back at it with his second three-run home run of the game high and deep to left-center for a 7-2 Raptors advantage.
Great Falls trimmed the lead to 7-3 in the 6th with a sacrifice fly to left-center from David Cronin that scored Justin Yurchak tagging from third. Yurchak had led off the inning with a double to left-center. The Voyagers plated another single run in the 9th on a Yurchak RBI single. They had two men on with the tying run at the plate when the game ended.
The Voyagers outhit the Raptors 9-to-7, but they stranded 10 base runners and finished 3-for-15 with RISP. Craig Dedelow, Justin Yurchak, and Tate Blackman all collected two hits in defeat. For Ogden, Rylan Bannon went 2-for-4 with six RBIs and two runs scored. Gersel Pitre also had two hits.
On the mound, Devin Hemmerich posted the win in relief. Hemmerich (1-0) worked two-and-two-thirds and gave up one earned run on two hits with three strikeouts and one walk. Kyle Von Ruden took the loss. Von Ruden (0-1) allowed seven earned runs on six hits (three HR) with six strikeouts and one walk. Justin Hoyt faced one batter in the 9th and earned the save with one strikeout.
Great Falls will try to avoid elimination with game 2 in the best-of-three championship series Saturday night at Centene Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 7 o’clock. If necessary, game 3 will be played Sunday night at 6 o’clock in Great Falls.