Owlz back in championship series
The Orem Owlz continued their torrid play in the first round of the Pioneer League playoffs by sweeping the Ogden Raptors in a best-of-three series 2-0.
In game one, Stephen Locke scattered six hits over seven innings and struck out five Raptor batters to place the Owlz at a 7-2 victory in front of their hometown crowd.
Orem center fielder, Travis Witherspoon, got things started off in the bottom of the third inning with a solo shot over the left field wall to give the Owlz a 1-0 lead.
After a couple of Ogden runs in the top of the fourth inning, Orem’s Justin Bass hit a 2-run triple to help the Owlz regain the lead they would not relinquish.
“I wanted to be aggressive and not give away the at-bat,” said Bass. “I put a good swing on it and it worked out well.”
In the game, Casey Haerther extended his hitting streak to 23 games, which ties a franchise record. Haerther ended up going 3-for-4 on the day with a double and an RBI.
In the second game, Owlz catcher Carlos Ramirez drove in three runs to help Orem notch a 7-4 win in Ogden and ensure a place in the Pioneer League Championship Series.
Ramirez got the Owlz on board in the first inning when he lined a double to center that scored Richard Cates.
Trailing to the Raptors by a score of 3-2 in the fourth inning, Witherspoon continued to produce at the plate when he doubled to right, scoring two more runs as Orem regained the lead.
Dillon Baird would homer in the fifth, and Ramirez would add a solo shot of his own in the top of the ninth inning to ensure the Owlz of a series-clinching victory.
For the second straight year, the Owlz knocked the Raptors out of the playoffs and will now face the Missoula Osprey in the Pioneer League Championship Series. This will also mark the seventh time that the Owlz have made it to the championship series in its nine years of existence. Orem leads the season series over Missoula 7-0.