Tuesday night Orem fell to the Casper Ghosts 9-6 after a 30-minute rain delay. Prior to the delay, Casper was dominant, taking a commanding 8-0 lead. Just as Orem did in the sand storm earlier in the year, they came flying back to compete and challenge for the lead.
The delay occurred in the bottom of the fifth inning and after returning to a soggy field of play, Orem mounted a fierce comeback. It started with an Abel Baker walk, a Chris Giovanazzo double, and a walk to Andrew Ray. Taylor Lindsey then hit a line drive into the gap, scoring all three base runners with a bases-clearing triple. The triple was Lindsey’s fifth of the year.
Orem cut the lead to 8-4 as they headed to the eighth. The Owlz would trim the lead to 8-6 as they would try for another comeback, as they have done many times this year. Casper tacked on an insurance run in the ninth, however, putting the score at its final margin.
“We can’t rely on two-out rallies and comebacks,” Kotchman said in an earlier interview. “Eventually it will come back to bite you.”
Tonight it did. After falling back early the lead was too much for the Owlz to overcome. Players that were held out because of injury. Most notably absent from the lineup was an injured Jerod Yakubik.
“We thought he had a hairline fracture in his hand. Turns out it’s not but it still hurts,” said Orem manager Tom Kotchman. “If there is any doubt about him he won’t play the rest of the way.”
Typically the end of the season is a push for the playoffs and fighting for every last run. With their playoff position set, Orem has the luxury and the burden of tweaking the lineup to best set up their chances for a championship run.
The instructions from manager Tom Kotchman are simple. Don’t get hurt.
“That’s the key, don’t get injured,” Kotchman said. “We are trying to get our rotation set and get some key guys rest so hopefully we can be ready come playoff time.”