A pair of Los Angeles Dodgers Minor League affiliates saw their 2017 season come to an end Sunday in drastically different fashion. Rookie-level Ogden Raptors won the Pioneer League championship, while Double-A Tulsa fell in Game 5 of the Texas League championship series.
The Raptors defeated the Great Falls Voyagers (Chicago White Sox affiliate), 7-4, in Game 1 at Lindquist Field. The series shifted to Centene Stadium for Game 2 on Saturday, but inclement weather forced it to be postponed for a possible doubleheader on Sunday.
The Voyagers forced a decided Game 3 by routing the Raptors, 15-3. Ogden jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the winner-take-all contest, and had it trimmed to 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth.
The Raptors answered back in the fifth behind a Brayan Morales RBI triple and Connor Heady’s run-scoring double.
Great Falls again cut into their deficit, only for Ogden to answer right back. Luis Paz’s double scored Donovan Casey, who led off the sixth with a double of his own. Romer Cuadrado hit an RBI double and Morales added an RBI single to give the Raptors a decided 8-3 lead.
The Pioneer League title is Ogden’s first in the franchise’s 24-year history.
The Drillers won their first two games of the series but it was downhill from that point forward. The Midland RockHounds (Oakland Athletics) needed all of one run — scored in the first inning — to capture a fourth consecutive Texas League championship.
Tulsa had the tying run reach with two outs in the ninth inning but Keibert Ruiz, who joined the team from High-A Rancho Cucamonga, grounded out. The Drillers failed to capitalize on having runners at first and second with one out in the first inning.
Matt Beaty and Kyle Garlick connected on back-to-back singles with nobody out in the fourth, but a double play squashed the threat. Dennis Santana escaped a bases-loaded jam late in the game to keep the Drillers within a run.
Santana allowed just the one run on six hits, struck out seven and issued one walk over six innings of a tough-luck loss.