Though they came from vastly different Draft spots, Grayson Long, Nathan Bates and Tyler Watson had something in common Monday night. For nearly six innings, they didn't allow anyone to reach first base.
Long, the Angels' third-round pick, struck out two of the three batters he faced in a perfect frame. He, Nathan Bates and Tyler Watson worked 5 2/3 hitless innings as Rookie-level Orem beat Grand Junction, 8-2.
The Texas A&M University product struck out Jonathan Piron and Chris Rabago to end his brief professional debut. The 21-year-old from Baytown, Texas went 9-0 with a 2.62 ERA and 100 strikeouts in 86 innings in his junior year of college.
Long was an All-American at Barbers Hill High School in Mont Belvieu, Texas in 2011 and 2012, prompting the Seattle Mariners to select him in the 39th round of the 2012 Draft. The righty did not sign with Seattle, however, and re-entered the Draft in 2015. While his fastball typically runs in the low-90's, Long commands the pitch well.
Nathan Bates, selected in the 15th round this year by the Angels, took the ball next. The 21-year-old worked two perfect innings, striking out two and retiring the other four batters on groundouts. The 6-foot-8 right-hander was taken out of Georgia State University, where he finished with the second-lowest career ERA (4.07) of any pitcher in program history with at least 100 innings.
The Owlz turned to southpaw Tyler Watson in the fourth. The 22-year-old, taken in 38th round of the 2014 Draft, struck out four of the first eight batters he faced and kept the no-hit bid alive until Cole Anderson launched a home run over the left-field fence with two outs in the sixth.
Angels' fourth-rounder Brendon Sanger doubled in two runs and added a sacrifice fly for another. Ranyelmy Mendoza went 2-for-4 with a home run and an RBI for the Owlz.
Rockies right-hander James McMahon allowed two runs on six hits over five innings. He struck out two and issued a walk.