OGDEN After the first inning of his professional debut Tuesday night at Lindquist Field, the only way for Ogden's Scott Elbert to go was down.
Elbert, the Los Angeles Dodgers' first-round selection this year, fanned the first three batters he faced with relative ease, but soon found how tough professional baseball is.
He allowed four runs on three hits over the next three innings and left the game with a two-run deficit to the Idaho Falls Chukars.
Already off the hook Elbert didn't suffer the loss as Idaho Falls' Bradley Hayes belted a two-out grand slam in the top of the ninth to lead the Chukars to the 9-6 come-from-behind victory.
Reliever Gabriel Alvarez retired the first two hitters in the top of the ninth before walking the next hitter. He struck out Brian McFall, but the blocked ball by catcher Chris Westervelt bounced into the base line and McFall kicked it running to first and was called safe on the play. The umpire ruled the contact incidental.
"We were unable to make a play because he kicked it," Ogden manager Travis Barbary said.
Two hitters later Hayes belted the game-winning granny off reliever Carlos Alvarez.
"A loss is a loss but these are hard because you know you're right there," Barbary said.
The Raptors (2-3) got Elbert off the losing hook with four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning as they worked the bases loaded with no outs. An Idaho Falls error led to two of the Raptors' four runs in the inning. Travis Denker and Luis Castillo, the league's leading hitter, added RBIs.
Despite surrendering four runs (three earned), Elbert finished with a decent debut line: three hits, four strikeouts and four walks in the no decision.
"He was real anxious coming into the game," Barbary said of Elbert. "You couldn't have asked for anything more from a guy in his professional debut. I think it's a good sign of things to come."
Reliever Albenis Castillo allowed just one run on three hits in three innings, but he didn't figure into the decision either, although he pitched well enough to deserve the win.
Idaho Falls tied the game at 5-5 on a RBI single by Jefferson Infante in the sixth and eventually won the game in the ninth.
The Raptors tallied six hits in the first four innings, but were held to just two hits over the next four innings in suffering the bitter defeat. Luis Castillo, who upped his average to .591 with a 3-for-5 outing, had meaningless RBI single in the ninth.Veteran major leaguer Paul Shuey, will start tonight in the first game of a four-game series with the Casper Rockies. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. at Lindquist Field.
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