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Orem takes first-half Pioneer South title
Way, Seiz lead the way as Owlz offense comes through in clincher
07/23/2014 1:52 AM ET
Bo Way is batting .355 with 15 extra-base hits through his first 26 professional games. (Orem Owlz)

Rookie-level Orem earned a playoff berth Tuesday the same way it's won all season -- by putting up an awful lot of runs.

"Offensively, we've just done a tremendous job," said Owlz manager Dave Stapleton. "I've never really felt at any point worried about scoring runs, and we've pitched when we needed to pitch. It's been all those things a manager wishes for and wants."

Angels' 2014 seventh-rounder Bo Way boosted his average to .355 with a triple and a double, and 17th-rounder Ryan Seiz went 3-for-5 with a homer and two RBIs as visiting Orem beat Missoula, 8-4, to improve to 24-11 -- the best record in the Pioneer League -- and clinch the South Division's first-half title.

"I'm going to tip cap to the Angels' scouts. Those guys organizationally did a tremendous job of going out and getting players who swing the bat for power and base hits," said Stapleton, who pitched in two big league seasons with the Brewers. "[The players] got in, and both hitting coaches [Ryan Barba and Buck Coats] did a tremendous job too."

Way has put up seven multi-hit games for the Owlz in July, despite playing at less than full strength.

"He's just coming off a little hamstring thing. He can run a little bit, and it was hard when his legs started to bother him," Stapleton said. "But his swing is starting to look like it did when he got here after he got drafted. He's been a perfect hitter in that No. 2 spot for me."

Orem leads the circuit with a .318 average, 39 home runs, 237 RBIs and 268 runs scored.

"Once in a while, there have been a lot of zeros, but then our runs will come in a big bunch," said Stapleton. "Fortunately, these guys have never stopped believing we can score when we need to score, and our pitching has been keeping us in games when we weren't getting runs."

In Tuesday's win, Caleb Adams and Wade Wass both homered for the Owlz. It was the first professional dinger for Wass, who signed as a free agent out of the University of Alabama on July 5.

Arjenis Fernandez improved to 6-1 by holding the Osprey to two runs -- one earned -- on eight hits and two walks over six innings. He struck out four.

Josh Jackson is a contributor to MiLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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