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32 and counting for Valaika08/27/2006 2:18 AM ET
By Marissa Rega / Special to MLB.com
Chris Valaika extended his hitting streak to 32 games with an RBI single in the sixth inning Saturday night as the Billings Mustangs topped the Orem Owlz, 3-1.
Valaika delivered a line drive to center field to lift the Mustangs (19-8) into a 1-1 tie. It was the only hit in four at-bats for the 21-year-old shortstop, whose streak matches David Doster's run for Triple-A Fresno in 2004.
Valaika is hitting .374 during the streak with 10 doubles, three triples, four homers, 29 runs scored and 35 RBIs. On Friday, he eclipsed the longest hitting streak in the history of the Pioneer League, which he leads with 82 hits, 57 RBIs and 54 runs scored.
Daniel Dorn's two-run single in the eighth snapped the deadlock and gave the Mustangs (19-8) the lead for good.
After giving up a one-out solo homer to Peter Bourjos in the first, Billings starter Joshua Ravin worked four innings and combined with four relievers to limit the Owlz (15-11) to three hits.
Misael DeJesus (2-1) got the win after allowing two hits and a walk with three strikeouts over 3 2/3 scoreless frames.
With one on and two out in the seventh, Billings' James Morris threw a wild pitch and issued a walk. Terrell Young pitched around another walk, retiring Christopher Pettit to get out of the jam.
Joshua Roenicke struck out the side in the ninth for his fourth save.
Orem relever Patrick Connelly (3-2) retired five batters, striking out one, but surrendered two runs on one hit and a walk.
Bourjos and Darrell Sales singled in the sixth and eighth, respectively, for the Owlz, who took two of three from the Mustangs.
First-place Billings has a two-game lead over Missoula in the North Division, while Orem is one game ahead of second-place Ogden in the South.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.