Taylor Lindsey put on a show Saturday night as he went 5-5 and hit for the cycle in the Owlz 9-6 win over their instate rival, the Ogden Raptors.
Lindsey hit a leadoff home run in the first, a double in the second, and an RBI single in the third, as Orem put up two, two, and three runs respectively.
Starting pitcher Shane Riedie was only able to go two innings and was relieved by the other star of the night, Junior Carlin.
Carlin pitched three perfect innings in the third, fourth, and fifth. He retired all nine batters he faced, striking out four. Only one ball left the infield and that was for a pop-out, shallow fly ball to right field.
The Raptors attempted to claw their way back, scoring two runs in the sixth inning. Once again however, Orem answered. Lindsey, only missing a triple to hit for the cycle, smacked a hanging breaking ball into the deepest part of right center field.
As soon as he hit it, Lindsey took off for third without a second thought.
“I was gonna go for it,” Lindsey said. “If I got hosed I got hosed but I had to try. That was my first one ever, even in high school.”
There had not been a player hit for the cycle in the Pioneer League since 2008, but Lindsey was the third player to do it this season.
Center fielder Chris Giovinazzo scored on Lindsey’s triple, and following a wild pitch, Lindsey trotted across home plate to give the Owlz a 9-5 lead.
Ogden would not go quietly into the night however. In the eighth they would load the bases with only one out. A would-be inning-ending double play was broken up and a run scored, trimming the lead to 9-6 with runners on first and third.
That threat would quickly end with a harmless pop-fly to Gary Mitchell in right field.
The Owlz leader in saves, Danny Reynolds, ran into some trouble in the top half of the ninth inning, giving up a single, a walk, and another single to load the bases once again, this time with no outs on the board.
As the tension rose, so did Reynolds. He struck out Scott Schebler to get the first out, setting up a possible inning-ending double play. Reynolds decided to blow a 0-2, 95mph fastball past Matt Kirkland for another strikeout instead.
With two outs, everyone in the ballpark collectively held their breath, as a deep fly ball was hit to left field. Jan Vazquez came just feet away from hitting a grand slam and giving Ogden a 10-9 lead. Instead, Ryan Jones pulled down the final out at the warning track as the crowd erupted.
“That was a tough one tonight, but a win is a win,” Owlz manager Tom Kotchman said.
Jonathan Boldt can be reached at [email protected]