Sunday , September 10, 2017 - 8:16 PM
OGDEN — Osiris Ramirez picked a great time to throw his best game of the season.
Ogden’s right-handed starter threw five scoreless innings Sunday at Lindquist Field, was backed up by an early onslaught of hits and the Raptors defeated the Orem Owlz 9-4 to claim game one of the Pioneer League South Division series.
Ramirez hadn’t thrown a shutout start since his third outing of the season, a four-inning appearance on June 30.
“Going into last start, he was challenged to attack hitters and create more swings ... and he did an excellent job,” Raptors manager Mark Kertenian said. “Today, he went right at guys, and he has very good stuff.”
His night ended with a bang. With runners on the corners and one out, he got Brandon Marsh to line out to second baseman Kevin Lachance, who easily doubled off Leonardo Rivas at first base.
Ramirez hopped off the mound with a fists clenched and let out a yell. That caught the ire of Orem outfielder Torii Hunter Jr., who was close by on third base, but Ramirez said his intent wasn’t unsportsmanlike.
“It was just the emotion of the moment. It was nothing personal,” Ramirez said through translator Alex Soto, the team’s video coordinator. “I was just happy to get out of the inning and happy for these guys. It was just all emotion and I was happy with my start.”
Offensively, the Raptors struck early and often. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases for Luis Paz in the first inning. Paz drew a walk to score one, then Brayan Morales doubled to score two more and give Ogden a 3-0 lead.
Singles from Lachance and Donovan Casey put a pair on in the second. With two outs, Romer Cuadrado singled to score Lachance. Luis Paz followed with a triple off the center field fence, then Morales singled in Paz for a 7-0 lead.
Kertenian said Ogden’s aggressive game plan at the plate was key to the hot start.
Lachance doubled in the third and scored on a sacrifice fly from Mitchell Hansen, and Gersel Pitre doubled off the center field fence to score Paz in the fourth to cap Ogden’s scoring for the night.
The Raptors ripped 11 hits in the first three innings.
Austin Hamilton gave up three runs in 1/3 of an inning in the seventh to help Orem cut the deficit to 9-4.
But with the bullpen scuffling, Miguel Urena pitched 2 2/3 scoreless, hitless innings to close the game and deliver the win.
Casey finished the evening with three hits to lead the Raptors. Paz and Morales each batted in three runs.
Simon Mathews took the loss for Orem, giving up seven hits and seven earned runs in 1 2/3 innings.
The series shifts to Orem for game two at 6:35 p.m. Monday. One win sends the Raptors to the Pioneer League Championship Series.
Right-hander Edwin Uceta is set to start for Ogden. The 19-year-old is 2-3 with an ERA of 6.59
Contact Brett Hein at email@example.com, on Twitter @bhein3 and at facebook.com/brettheinwrites.
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