Owlz starter Logan Odom gave up a game-opening solo home run, and it looked as though Orem might already be headed to its seventh straight loss.
Instead it proved to be an aberration, as Odom and the Owlz shut out Idaho Falls for the rest of the game.
The first-year player from USC allowed just two hits, no runs and struck out five in six more innings of work as the Orem beat the Chukars 5-1 at home. The victory snapped their six-game losing streak and marked the first time in ten games Orem allowed less than five runs.
“I wouldn’t say there was pressure to win, but being back home was big,” Odom said. “We really needed to get a win and we went out there and took care of business.”
“We’ve got to get out of this rut that we’ve been. It’s not acceptable.” — Owlz manager Tom Kotchman
The win was a long time coming for an Owlz team that has had few issues scoring, but plenty in stopping the other team from doing likewise.
“It all starts with your pitching,” Kotchman said. “I think our ERA in the last 11 games is something like seven and a half. You can’t win with that.”
The Owlz won with Odom’s slider and solid relief efforts from Danny Reynolds and Shane Waller. All three combined to effectively shut down the Chukars. Subsquently, Orem needed just one inning’s worth of offense to seal the win.
Andrew Ray and Taylor Lindsey both reached in the fourth inning, then advanced twice – the first time on a double-steal of second and third base, then on a passed ball from Brian Peacock to catcher Lance Harper that brought Ray home. Designated hitter C.J. Cron immediately followed with a shallow RBI single to left field.
Clean-up man Kaleb Cowart doubled the damage with a two-run blast over the left-field fence, giving the Owlz a 4-1 lead before being retired. Orem would get one more insurance run in the sixth inning off a squeeze bunt from Drew Martinez.
Kotchman wasted no time in crediting Friday’s pitching crew – and calling out those who are due next on the mound.
“Odom did his job, and it gives you momentum,” Kotchman said. “It’s something we need. If we don’t get pitching, we’re going to be in trouble.”
“It’s just one game, and we’ve got to be ready to play tomorrow,” he added. “We’ve got to get out of this rut that we’ve been. It’s not acceptable.”
Idaho Falls 100 000 000 — 1 4 1
Orem 004 001 00x — 5 8 0