The first half of the game was full of offense, while the second half featured small ball and methodical at-bats in the Owlz 6-5 win over the Rockies in 12 innings Monday night.
Orem (36-30, 14-14) reaches the .500 mark for the first time in the second half and finds itself trailing the Ogden Raptors by only one game in the second-half standings. Grand Junction (30-35, 14-13) doesn't lose any ground thanks to Ogden's loss in Idaho Falls.
Innings two through four featured runs in each frame for both teams. They started by exchanging ones in the second. A sacfrice fly by Keith Grieshaber would score John Schuknecht for the Owlz. Joel Diaz would knock a two-out single in the bottom half to score Roberto Ramos to tie the game.
The Owlz managed three runs against starter Ty Culbreth in the third. Zach Gibbons stayed hot with an RBI double to right-center to score L.J. Kalawaia, then Nick Flair would follow with a double as well. Flair would later score on a throwing error to second by Rockies' catcher Brian Serven to mark the score at 4-1.
But again the Rockies would respond off Owlz' starter Travis Herrin. A two-out base hit by Ramos scored Cole Anderson, but Ramos was thrown out at second to end the inning. Instead of the Rockies having runners on the corners with two outs, they were forced to leave the inning with only one run.
In the fourth the Owlz woud tack on one more on a solo home run from Brennan Morgan. He would fall a triple short of the cycle while reaching base four times. However, one more came in for the Rockies in the bottom of the inning in a controversial manner.
Taylor Snyder led off with a double up the third base line that appeared foul, and later score on a two-out single by Brian Serven. It was the catcher's first hit against the Owlz all season. Through four innings the score was 5-3 and the bullpens kept things scoreless until the eighth inning.
Cory Geisler worked innings five through seven in scoreless fashion until he went back out for his fourth inning of relief in the eighth. He allowed the first three batters to reach on two singles and a walk, so manager Dave Stapleton opted for Bo Tucker for the jam.
The lefty would strikeout Diaz for the first out, but Serven would rope a double down the left-field line to score two and tie the game. However the Owlz forced another out on the bases when the caught Jonathon Piron rounding too far off of third base on the double for the second out. Anderson would groundout to third to end the inning.
In the bottom of the ninth, Tucker was still working and with two outs Colton Welker put a charge into a ball in deep right. Perhaps without the wind blowing in it could have left the yard, but it resulted in a wallscraper that was caught by Schuknecht. The Owlz and Rockies were off to extras for the fifth and tenth time respectively.
Both teams left a runnner stranded in the tenth, and the Rockies would again in the eleventh. For the twelfth, the Owlz had the top of the order up and L.J. Kalawaia led off with his second single of the night. He would steal second during Jose Rojas' at-bat, and advance to third when he laid down a bunt with two strikes. Gibbons would strike out leaving it up to Flair. Nick knocked a base hit up the middle to give the Owlz the lead back.
David Trexler worked the last two innings and fired a 1-2-3 bottom half with a strikeout to seal the victory for the Owlz and his own record. It is the fourth win in the last five games for the Owlz. They also did not commit an error tonight, the third time in the last five games.
Next, the Owlz continue the series with Grand Junction at 7:05 MDT from Sam Suplizio Field. Right-hander Crusito Mieses will be countered by Rockies' lefty Luis Guzman on the mound.