Rookie C.J. Cron shines in debut

The Orem Owlz came into tonight’s game against the Ogden Raptors looking to even out the series 2-2 and were able to pull out a 6-4 victory with the help of newcomer C.J. Crom.

Owlz starter Daniel Vargas-Vila gave up an early second inning solo homerun to Raptors right fielder Noel Cuevas. The Owlz immediately answered back with a 2-run homerun hit by catcher Abel Baker.

The score remained 2-1 until the fifth inning.  With one out and runners on first and second, Raptors center fielder James Baldwin dropped a fly ball hit by Owlz second basemen Taylor Lindsey, which loaded the bases.  Owlz third baseman Kaleb Cowart went down swinging for the second out.  Cron, who walked in the second inning for his first at-bat with the team, delivered a 2-run RBI single to left-field, making the score 4-1.

Owlz Manager Tom Kotchman was pleased with the rookie’s debut.

“He came up with the big hit with the two RBIs. It was the first pitch breaking ball.  He got the base hit and I’m happy for him,” Kotchman said.

In the seventh inning, Raptors designated hitter Andrew Edge hit a seventh inning RBI double off of the left field wall, scoring one run and advancing a runner to third.  With no outs, Owlz reliever Junior Carlin entered the game and subsequently gave up an RBI double, bringing the score to 5-4.

The Owlz loaded the bases in the eighth after Cron got his second walk of the night, Frazier Hall was hit by a pitch, and Baker walked.  After Trevor Hairgrove struck out, Gary Mitchell stepped up to the plate and hit a slow rolling ground ball towards first base.  The Raptors were unable to make the play at first, allowing Cron and Baker to score to extend the lead to 6-3.

The Raptors made a last ditch effort to close the gap with two outs in the ninth.  Raptors second baseman David Iden singled.  James Baldwin followed with a single up the middle, extending his 11-game hitting streak to 12 games.  Shortstop Charlie Mirabal then hit an infield grounder towards first, where Owlz first basemen Frazier Hall fumbled an attempt to field the ball and then overthrew to first base, earning two errors and allowing one run to score before the Owlz closed the game out.

“If we had lost tonight, we would have been 1-3 against them, and we would have had to sweep three games in Ogden. That’s not easy to do,” Kotchman said.  “It was an important win tonight.”

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