GREAT FALLS, Mont. — The Raptors find themselves in a chase for a playoff berth.
The Ogden Raptors, who have led the Pioneer League’s South Division for nearly all the first half of the season, dropped a crucial 6-5 game to the Great Falls Voyagers on Saturday night in a showdown of Pioneer League leaders at Centene Stadium.
The Raptors (18-14) had used Devin Shines’ speed to grab a 5-4 lead in the top of the ninth inning, but Great Falls (21-11) responded with some late-game heroics.
Raptors reliever Owen Jones came in to close the game, but gave up a ninth inning-opening hit to Kyle Robinson.
Brett Tanner executed a sacrifice bunt to move Robinson to second base, but after Yoandy Barroso grounded out, the Voyagers were down to their last out.
But slugger Michael Marjama doubled home the tying run, then just a pitch later, scored the winner on Thomas McCarthy’s single to left field.
Ogden is now just a game ahead of Grand Junction in the South Division with six games left in the first half of the season.
Ogden led 4-0 after its first at-bat but the Voyagers chipped away to tie things up in the seventh inning.
Jeremy Rathjen, Shines and Jesus Valdez each had a pair of hits for the Raptors, who stranded 11 more runners on Saturday.
Robinson had three hits for the Voyagers, including a solo homer in the seventh to bring the score even. Thomas McCarthy also had three hits for Great Falls.
In the ninth inning, Shines singled to open the inning, and stole second. He came home on Corey Seager’s sharp single and it looked like Ogden would be able to pick up the much needed road victory.
Brandon Hardin, who pitched the final two innings, picked up the win.
Four singles in the first inning against Great Falls starter Andrew Virgili put Ogden ahead 4-0, but the Voyagers answered with two runs in the bottom of the first off Raptors starter Craig Stemm started the comeback.
The teams meet again this afternoon, then Ogden moves on for three games at Helena before returning home on July 27.