Ogden • By record, Ogden was the Pioneer League’s best team.
The Raptors’ 44 victories tied a franchise record and led the league. The team also won both halves of the league’s split season.
In addition, Ogden defeated its championship series foe, Missoula, six of nine times and started a pitcher with a team-best 1.24 earned-run average.
However, in the third and final playoff game for the league championship Friday at Lindquist Field, the Raptors came away second best. Missoula rode a five-run first inning to a 10-0 victory and its first title since 1996, defeating Ogden three games to two.
“The kids, they battled all year and all improved a bunch since the start of the season,” Ogden manager Damon Berryhill said. “I’m proud of the kids. It’s just a shame to end the season this way.
“It was a situation where we really didn’t compete in the last game. And that’s a tough pill to swallow.”
For the third consecutive season, the Raptors, now 0-4 in league championship series, fell short of a championship.
Missoula won thanks in part to a dominant pitching effort by starter Yoimer Camacho, who allowed just three hits in five shutout innings. An evening after scoring 13 runs, the Raptors could not convert the big hit when it mattered.
Ogden stranded five total runners in the first two innings as Camacho, wild early, walked two to go with three singles. Each time, however, the Osprey right-hander wiggled out of trouble.
“Give him credit,” Berryhill said. “But we also swung at pitches we should have hit. We didn’t make him come to the strike zone.”
Meanwhile, spectators were still filing into the park when Missoula exploded for five runs, including a two-run single by Socrates Brito.
A pair of two-run homers, one each by Jake Lamb and Yosbel Gutierrez in the fourth and fifth innings, cemented the victory.
“The kids, they didn’t give up, it was just one of those nights we didn’t get it done,” Berryhill said.
Missoula 10, Ogden 0
R Ogden falls short for the third consecutive season in the Pioneer League Championship Series.
• Four Missoula pitchers, including starter Yoimer Camacho, shut out Ogden on just five hits.
• Every hitter in Missoula’s lineup hit safely, with Jake Lamb driving in four runs.