Orem — The Orem Owlz (6-4) prevailed 4-1 over the reigning 2013 Pioneer League champions Idaho Falls Chuckars (3-7) in an offensive battle Thursday night at Brent Brown Ballpark.
The Owlz took the lead in the first inning thanks to a triple off the bat of shortstop Bo Way. Two batters later Ryan Seiz’s sacrifice fly scored the tying run.
Orem broke the game open later in the third inning again off the bat of Bo Ryan. His lead-off double allowed third baseman Zachary Houchins to drive him home for the go-ahead run. The Owlz’ pitching and defense carried them the rest of the game.
Owlz pitcher Arjenis Fernandez was in command of the game, allowing just one run on six hits in six innings of work. Manager Chris Stapleton praised how the pitching staff gave the team a chance to win.
“Once again tonight we did a really good job on the mound; pitchers commanded the zone and kept attacking the zone,” Stapleton said. “Fernandez did a really good job setting the tempo.”
Fernandez also got help from his infield, especially from shortstop Jake Yacinich, who made a key play in the seventh inning with first and second base full. Yacinich fielded a sharply hit ball and threw the lead runner out.
Stapleton commented on how the pitching, along with defensive play from Seiz, contributed to the win.
“Ryan (Seiz) picked a couple of balls at first base that were just outstanding, which saved us a lot of runs,” Stapleton said.
Seiz feels he’s just doing his job.
“I am just trying to help my team out,” he said. “My infielders made some really great plays out there, so I am just trying to help by picking it as much as I can.”
Orem finished the game with an impressive eight hits to maintain its team batting average of .300, second best in the league. The Owlz lived up to the ranking in the win. Way said the extra hours of work in the batting cage is the reason for hot hitting.
“We are getting here early and putting in extra work, and it is paying off for us,” Seiz said.
The extra work is paying off. Ryan went three for three with a single, double and triple.
“It is probably one of the first times I feel pretty comfortable in the box; I was seeing pitches well,” he said.
The Owlz look to continue winning as they face their league rival, the Ogden Raptors, Friday and Saturday.