By Ryan Taylor
The Orem Owlz opened a new series with the Casper Rockies on Saturday, pounding out a victory in an 11-10 slugfest.
After being down 6-1 midway through the third, the Owlz started the comeback by scoring three runs in the bottom of the inning and then taking the lead in the fifth when four Owlz each knocked in a
The Rockies managed to tie the game in the sixth and again in the seventh, matching the Owlz run for run. Although they got 16 hits, the Rockies were still unable to regain the lead, in large part because of five costly errors throughout the game.
The Owlz had no errors and eight hits. Gordie Gronkowski had one of the crucial RBIs in the fifth inning when the Owlz took their first lead.
Going into Saturday night”s game at home, the Owlz felt they needed to win each game of the series before they play two series away with the Billings Mustangs and the Great Falls White Sox, Gronkowski said.
“We have got to come out and sweep Casper,” Gronkowski said. “They are struggling right now; they made a lot of errors, as you could see tonight. We capitalized on it. If they wouldn”t have made those errors they … probably would have won the game.”
The Rockies threatened in the ninth inning, even after an Owlz double play. With two outs, Rockies shortstop Derek Kinzler slapped one behind first base, narrowly keeping the game alive for the Rockies. After another base hit, Rockies catcher Austin Rauch hit a double down the third-base line, sending Kinzler home, making the score 11-10 Owlz.
Up by one with two Rockies in scoring position, center fielder Trevor Pippin caught a fly ball behind second base to close out the game for the Owlz.
“We had an awesome pitcher in there, he was doing a great job and it was just a matter of time before that last guy got out,” Gronkowski said.
The Owlz took the second game of the three-game series on Sunday afternoon, 7-3. The final game of the series was completed Monday after deadline.
“We have been doing an awesome job as a team just getting on base,” Gronkowski said. “We are leading the league in hitting. We just got to put it all together now.”