After a blazing hot start, the Orem Owlz had an ice cold Gatorade bucket dumped on them, and not because of celebration.
They had their own fire put out, losing their last six games by giving up an astronomical 61 runs in that span.
Without even a question being asked following their 5-1 win over Idaho Falls Friday night, manager Tom Kotchman said, “Yes we needed it. That was a bad road trip, it was bad travel, it was bad baseball, but it all starts with your pitching.”
No one likes to lose, but it really had the Owlz coaches and players’s blood boiling.
“I don’t think we’ve ever been swept six games in a row,” Kotchman said. “This was just one game. We’ve got to get out of this rut we’ve been in. It’s not acceptable. It is not acceptable.”
This game looked more like the Owlz that started out winning six of their first seven. It wasn’t just pitching and hitting. The defense made impressive plays to put a damper on Idaho Falls’ night.
Taylor Lindsey, who had 14 hits over the previous four games but went just 1-for-4 Friday, was more than happy exchanging his bat for his glove and the win.
“I’d much rather go 1-for-4 and win than 5-for-5 and lose,” Lindsey said. ” A diving catch to end the inning is so much more fun than a home run. I love to make those plays on defense.”
Orem played National League small ball, bunting and stealing bases to get runners in scoring position, a departure from the American League philosophy of trying to get a walk, being patient and waiting for a three run home run.
In the end, what matters is a guy named Wally Pipp. Don’t know who he is? Kotchman does.
“He was the guy that took the day off and Lou Gehrig stepped in to his spot,” he said. “You get opportunities in this game and in life, and you take advantage of them. That’s how it works.”