The Orem Owlz opened their four-game homestand with a 3-2 victory over the Ogden Raptors Tuesday night after entering the game with a 6-2 record, good for first place inthe Southern Division of the Pioneer League.
With both team’s pitching staffs having gem nights, the first two innings only took twenty minutes with neither team having a hit or even seeinga man reach first.
Logan Odom started the game for the Owlz, throwing five scoreless innings along with one hit and two strikeouts.
“It was the guys before me getting on. I just hit the ball and ran as hard as I could.” — Owlz center fielder Ryan Jones
“I felt pretty good,” Odom said. “I felt a lot more myself tonight. Worked my strengths.”
Kotchman praised Odom’s performance after the game.
“There’s a lot of keys to winning a game,” Kotchman said. “Odom was the key to this game, going five scoreless innings.”
Jerod Yakubik was the first batter to get on base in the bottom of the third with one out on the board. After striking out Gary Mitchell, Raptors starting pitcher Rick Anton then took care of the Yakubik, picking him off first to end the inning.
In the fourth inning Ogden replaced pitcher Anton, bringing in Yimi Garcia. After two ground outs Taylor Lindsey cranked one down the left field line for a double, and Jarrod Parks reached on a walk. The opportunity was lost, however, as Garcia strike out.
With two outs in the fifth inning Odom gave up his first hit to Ogden catcher Andrew Edge, a double down the left field line. He then got out of the jam on a ground out.
The Raptors were first to score, putting two runs on the board in the sixth inning. Pitcher Joe Melirios was brought in to start the inning for the Owlz, and the Raptors pounced and quickly loaded the bases with no outs. Ogden shortstop Charlie Mirabal took advantage of the situation with a two-RBI double to the gap in left-center, scoring Enlly Morales and James Baldwin. Merlirios then got Scott Schebler and Matt Kirkland to ground out and pop up respectively to stop the bleeding and get out of the inning.
The Owlz responded quickly, scoring one run in the sixth. With men on first and second. Kaleb Cowart (2-for-3), hit a sacrifice pop fly to left to allow Mitchell, who had walked and then moved to third on Taylor Lindsey’s single, to score the first run on the board for Orem.
In the eighth inning Orem pitcher Juan Carlin got the nod and took over for Melioris. He recorded two strikeouts and gave up one hit. Aaron Tullo pitched the ninth, also getting two strike outs to send the Owlz to the bottom of the ninth trailing 2-1.
Kotchman was pleased with the pitching performance.
“Pitching says what it is, you give up two runs and you have a chance to win alot of games,” Kotchman said.
Orem’s offense came alive in the bottom of the ninth. Cowart got the action started with a single, followed by a Jarrod Parks double. This set up catcher Larson for a RBI single to center, tying the game at 2-2. Ryan Jones then hit a grounder to shortstop Mirabal who stepped on second and looked to end the inning with a double play, but a wide throw to first allowed Jarrod Parks to score the winning run from third, giving the Owlz a 3-2 victory.
A humble Jones said after the game, “It was the guys before me getting on. I just hit the ball and ran as hard as I could.”
Orem will continue the series with Ogden Wednesday at 7:05 pm.
Ogden 000 002 000 2 6 1
Orem 000 001 002 3 6 0
W: Tullo (1-0, 4.50) L: McGough (0-1, 10.12)