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Orem Owlz continue trends in big win over Idaho Falls

By Jared Lloyd daily Herald - | Jul 8, 2017

Superstitions run rampant in baseball dugouts. Players do things at certain times in certain ways to give themselves any possible edge.

For the Orem Owlz this season, some of the hard numbers make certain superstitions pretty credible.

Consider this set of facts for the Owlz heading into Saturday night’s home game against Idaho Falls:

  • In 12 of 13 wins this year, Orem scored first
  • In all six losses, the opposing team scored first
  • In nine of 13 victories, the Owlz scored in the first inning
  • Orem has won all six games in which they hit a home run

Orem hit the positive trifecta in the first inning Saturday against the Chukars at Brent Brown Ballpark, the Home of the Owlz, as they blew out Idaho Falls, 12-1.

After keeping the visitors to a single in the top of the opening frame, Orem’s signature contact-hitting approach set the stage.

The Owlz got four singles and a walk to begin the game with dynamic first baseman David MacKinnon coming through with the two-RBI single to get the first runs on the board.

After a sacrifice fly by left fielder Jonah Todd scored the third run of the game, Orem designated hitter Harrison Wenson took care of the last trend.

He picked out a pitch he liked and blasted it over the fence in center field for a three-run home run.

That turned out to be plenty of runs to get the win, although the home team added another run in the fourth and two more in the fifth, including a solo home run by a third baseman Manuel Guzman.

The Owlz pitching staff kept the Chukars off-balance throughout the game.

They were lead by a five-inning, four-hit, four-strikeout showing from starter Tyler Carpenter, who is on a rehab assignment from the AA Mobile BayBears.

Orem relievers Connor Riley and Mayky Perez combined to give up just four hits and a run in their four innings of work.

The only ray of hope for Idaho Falls came in the top of the seventh.

The Chukars got a pair of singles, an error and a walk to load the bases and score a run, cutting the Owlz lead to 9-1 and threatening to narrow the gap.

But Riley got a key strikeout and a flyball ended the frame with Orem maintaining the comfortable edge.

The Owlz responded with three insurance runs of their own in the bottom of the seventh as shortstop Leonardo Rivas drove in two runs on a triple to right field, then scored on a Chukars error.

Rivas led the way for Orem at the plate as he went 3-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored. Every Owlz batter scored at least one run and only one ended the contest without at hit.

With the win, Orem improves its record to 14-6 on the season. With Ogden’s 9-8 walkoff loss at Grand Junction, the Owlz increased their lead in the Pioneer League South Division to four games.

Orem will look to continue its success when the series with Idaho Falls continues on Sunday. The two teams will square off at 4 p.m at Brent Brown Ballpark before the series concludes on Monday.

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