Provo Angels drop home opener

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    By Brent Hinckley

    For the second consecutive year the Provo Angels began their season on a losing note.

    Last year”s Pioneer League Southern Division Champions dropped the season opener 7-6 to the Casper Rockies.

    “When you walk however many guys we did tonight, it”s not going to help you win ball games,” manager Tom Kotchman said.

    Right-hand pitcher Hector Astacio began the night for the Angels and went four innings. He gave up one run – a solo home run by Rockies catcher Danny Ortega, struck out five and walked two more.

    “Hector did a good job,” Kotchman said.

    The Provo Angels took the early lead in the bottom of the first inning. With runners on the corners Rockies pitcher Jay Mitchell threw a ball into the dirt, which got past Ortega and scored Angels shortstop Erick Aybar.

    The Rockies tied the game in the top of the second with Ortega”s solo home run.

    Casper looked to break the game open in the top of the third inning. Two singles, a wild pitch and a walk loaded the bases for Rockies clean-up hitter first baseman Ryan Shealy.

    Astacio got out of the inning by striking out Shealy and the game remained tied until the sixth inning.

    The Rockies took their first lead of the game when center fielder Brian Barre led off the sixth inning with a solo homerun to deep right field.

    Barre led the Rockies with four hits, four RBI”s and three runs.

    Barre”s home run gave Casper some momentum as the Rockies once again loaded the bases with two outs in the inning.

    However, once again the Angels” pitching stepped up and got the team out of a jam. Relief pitcher Blake Allen struck out Rockies second baseman Robinson Morel.

    Allen pitched two innings, allowing five hits and four earned runs.

    “He hung a couple of breaking balls and they hit them out,” Kotchman said.

    Trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth, with two outs, right-fielder Michael Perdomo hit a solo homerun over the centerfield wall to tie the game.

    “It was nice, but it was a tough loss,” Perdomo said.

    After the home run, designated hitter Jason Sugden hit a triple down the first baseline.

    Centerfielder Quan Cosby followed Sugden and hit a double to left field, which scored Sugden and gave Provo a 3-2 lead.

    In the seventh and eighth innings, the Rockies scored five unanswered runs.

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