Owlz Complete 11-7 Comeback Win

(Ari Davis)

By Orem Owlz | July 5, 2017 1:42 AM ET

The Orem Owlz rode a six-run eighth inning to their biggest comeback win of the season, an 11-7 victory on the Fourth of July in Grand Junction. 


The Rockies applied six unanswered runs in the first four innings of the game, digging a five-run hole for the Owlz to rally from.


Leonardo Rivas got the ball rolling in the first inning, scoring from second base on a fielding error committed by Rockies right fielder Casey Golden, giving the Owlz a 1-0 lead after the first half inning.


Rockies second baseman Shael Mendoza then erased that deficit on the second pitch he saw, hitting a leadoff solo home run deep over the left field fence to tie the game at 1-1.


Mendoza, who now leads the Pioneer League with 26 hits, had a quiet series in Orem, going 0-4 in one game at the Home of the Owlz before exploding to go 4-5 with two runs scored and a run batted in during Tuesday night's game.


Owlz starting pitcher Christopher Molina ended up being chased out of the game in the fourth inning when the Rockies tagged him for five runs that made the score 6-1 by the time he left the game.


Molina was replaced by left-handed pitcher Max Bethell, who worked out of the fourth inning and ended up throwing a total of one and a third scoreless innings to keep the Owlz within striking distance heading into the fifth inning.


Ryan Vega got the rally started in the fifth with a base hit that scored Manuel Guzman and Leonardo Rivas, making the score 6-3. 


Brandon Sandoval, who picked up a career high 4 RBIs in Monday night's 13-5 win, then drove a double down the third base line, scoring Vega off of second base and making the score a surmountable 6-4. 


In the sixth inning the Owlz tacked on another run, when Leonardo Rivas grounded into a double play, scoring Matt McCann off of third base and getting the Owlz to within one run, the score then being 6-5. 


The Rockies erased that run with one of their own in the sixth inning, when Ryan Vilade drove Shael Mendoza home with a base hit off of Owlz reliver Tyler Stevens that made the score 7-5. 


That was the last time that the Rockies scored a run.


The Owlz bullpen combined to pitch the final five and two thirds innings of the game while only allowing the one run that was scored in the sixth inning.


Right-handed pitcher Brett Hanewich pitched a perfect seveth inning, which ended up qualifying him for his first professional win after the Owlz scored the six decisive runs of the game in the ensuing frame.


The Owlz' triumphant six-run eigth inning began with a bases loaded double by Leonardo Rivas that scored Matt McCann and Torii Hunter Jr, tying the game at seven.


After Jonah Todd then drew a walk to load the bases once again, Ryan Vega broke the tie with a base hit into right field, scoring Manuel Guzman and Leonardo Rivas to give the Owlz a 9-7 lead.


Brandon Sandoval kept the runs coming for the Owlz with a sacrifice fly that scored Jonah Todd off of third base, making the score 10-7.


Vega then ended up coming home on a base hit by first baseman Franklin Torres to put a cap on the Owlz' 11-run showing--for their Pioneer League best 11th win of the year.


The win was the Owlz' first of the season when trailing in the seventh inning or later, now making them 1-4 in such situations.


Ryan Vega ended his night having gone 2-4 at the plate, scoring two runs and racking up a season-best four runs batted in, including the go-ahead run in the eighth inning.


Now with a record of 11-5, the Owlz control a three-game lead in the Pioneer League South standings over both the Ogden Raptors and Idaho Falls Chukars.


The Owlz will round out their road trip by playing three more games in Grand Junction on each of the next three nights, beginning with Wednesday night.


First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 MT, with coverage beginning on the Orem Owlz Baseball Network, with the Voice of the Owlz, Steven Cusumano, 15 minutes prior to first pitch.



This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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