Ogden Raptors left fielder Noel Cuevas delivered a bases-loaded, game-winning, two-run single to beat the Orem Owlz 3-2 in Game 1 of the Pioneer League Playoffs Friday at Brent Brown Ballpark.
Trailing 2-1 in the seventh, Justin Boudreaux singled to left and moved to second on a wild pitch to start the inning. Joc Pederson was then intentionally walked. O'Koyea Dickson then fouled out to the warning track in right, moving Pederson and Boudreaux to second and third. After Scott Schebler walked to load the bases, Cuevas hit the two-run single to left, giving the Raptors a 3-2 lead. Cuevas' single broke an 0-for-13 slump with runners in scoring position in the game.
The Raptors got on the board first in the third. Scott Wingo single to left to begin the inning. Two batters later, Pederson doubled home Wingo off the wall in left, putting the Raptors ahead 1-0.
After the Owlz tied the game in the fourth on a solo homer by Kaleb Cowart, Orem took the lead in the sixth. Frazier Hall doubled to right to lead off the inning. Ryan Jones then flied to right, moving Hall to third. Abel Baker then hit a sacrifice fly to left, scoring Hall and putting Orem ahead 2-1.
The Raptors pitching was great Friday. Starter Derek Cone pitched 5.1 innings and allowed two runs on six hits, striking out five in a no decision. Yimy Rodriguez then pitched one shutout inning to earn the win. Eric Eadington pitched 1.2 shutout innings, and Yimi Garcia pitched a perfect ninth for the save.
Both teams had plenty of opportunities for runs. The Raptors loaded the bases with one out in the second, but came away empty handed on a Kevin Thompson lineout and a James Baldwin III strikeout. The Raptors also left runners at first and second with one out in the third and with two outs in the fifth. Ogden started with runners at first and third in the sixth but two strikeouts and a flyout got Orem out of the jam. In the seventh, Chris O'Brien grounded into a double play with runners on first and second after the Cuevas go-ahead single.
For Orem, the Owlz had runners on the corners in the second with one out, but didn't score a run. They also left the bases loaded in the seventh on a groundout by Hall.
In total, the Raptors were 1-for-15 with runners in scoring position and the Owlz were 1-for-8.
The Raptors and Owlz will play Game 2 of the best-of-three series Saturday at Lindquist Field. Ogden will pitch Brandon Martinez against Orem's Daniel Vargas-Vila. Game starts at 7:00.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.