Ogden Raptors Lose in Pioneer League Final for 2nd Straight Season


First of all congratulations to the Ogden Raptors for making the Pioneer League championships for the 2nd consecutive season. However unfortunately like 2010, the Raptors came out on the short end, as the White Sox rookie league Great Falls Voyagers swept the Raptors to take the Pioneer League title.Courtesy of the Ogden Standard Examiner here is the analysis of how the Raptors season came to an end

GREAT FALLS, Mont. — It was apparently not meant to be.

Great Falls southpaw Blair Walters capped a perfect 11-0 season as the Voyagers clinched the 2011 Pioneer League Championship with a 7-1 victory over Ogden on Thursday night at Centene Stadium.

The Raptors stranded six and were outhit 11-6 as Great Falls outscored Ogden 16-8 over the two-game series.

Ogden’s lone run came in the first inning as first baseman O’Koyea Dickson drove in Joc Pederson with an RBI double to give the Raptors a 1-0 lead.

Hitting .353 during the playoffs, Dickson’s postseason romp includes seven RBIs, a pair of homeruns and 13 total bases.

Base hits from Great Falls’ Kevan Smith and Michael Earley scored David Herbek and tied the game at one after the first inning.

Ogden starter Derek Cone (3-3; 5.03 ERA regular season) went 4and 2/3 innings and gave up five runs on seven hits while striking out four during a decent night for the Raptor pitching corps that was hindered by the lack of offense.

Great Falls scored a pair in the bottom of the second on a base hit and a pair of bunts that made it 3-1.

A perfect 9-0 with 72 strikeouts through 73 and 2/3 innings during the regular season leftie Blair Walters took the mound for Great Falls.

Living up to his billing as Pioneer League pitcher of the year, Walters struck out seven Raptors and allowed one run on four hits setting up reliever Chris Devenski with a 5-1 lead after six innings.

Ogden didn’t score a run after the first inning as Devenski pitched a one-hit inning followed by a strong close from right-hander Cody Winiarski who sat down three Raptors and gave up one hit through two innings.

Great Falls capitalized on Ogden’s three errors advancing a runner that would eventually score on a throwing mistake in the bottom of the second and plated a run on a fielding gaff from James Baldwin in the fifth.

Raydel Sanchez (4-5; 4.66 ERA regular season) held his own on the mound for Ogden taking over in the fourth inning and striking out three through three innings.

Great Falls extended their lead to six in the eighth after an RBI double from Herbek that scored Kyle Eveland and Randall Thorpe.

Herbek finished the night with a pair of RBIs while Kevan Smith finished 3-for-4 and logged a league-leading 11 postseason hits for the Voyagers.

Ogden clinched a playoff spot after finishing 22-16 for the first half of the season but suffered a devastating slump midway through the second half and finished the season 41-35.

Thursday’s loss represented the second consecutive season Ogden has made it to the league championship only to lose in two straight games.

You’ll notice the two players mentioned who accounted for the lone Raptors run were Joc Pederson and O’Koyea Dickson, the Raptors top 2 offensive weapons. Lasorda’s Lair’s next project will be to determine whether Joc or O’Koyea will be the first ever recipient of the highly coveted Lasorda’s Lair Ogden Raptors MVP Award.

Look for a post later today as LL analyzes the impressive seasons both Joc and O’Koyea put together and makes the tough decision of who is the Rookie League player of the year. The winner will be showered with prizes including a $25 Walmart gift card, a Lasorda’s Lair T-shirt, a 1 year subscription to Life magazine, tickets to see REO Speedwagon live at the Morongo Casino, 5  song downloads at iTunes, and a 30-day free trial of Norton Anti-Virus software protection for their PC.

But in all seriousness LL will take an in-depth look at 2 promising young talents who both had terrific years in their fist extended professional seasons. If your interested in young upcoming Dodgers prospects then stay tuned…

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Tags: Blair Walters Chicago White Sox Great Falls Voyagers Joc Pederson Los Angeles Dodgers O'Koyea Dickson Ogden Raptors