Owlz Lose Series Opener In Great Falls

(Ari Davis)

By Steven Cusumano / Orem Owlz | July 13, 2017 12:02 AM ET

The Orem Owlz lost their series opener against the Great Falls Voyagers on Wednesday night by a final score of 3-2.

The loss snapped Orem's three-game win streak, in addition to several other streaks that the Owlz began the game with.

The Owlz tacked on the game's first run when they took a 1-0 lead in the third inning. Great Falls second baseman Tate Blackman committed a fielding error that allowed Owlz first baseman Jeyson Sanchez to score from second base.

The game was Sanchez' first as a member of the Owlz after being assigned to the team from Class A-Burlington. Sanchez ended his night having gone 1-3 at the plate, while scoring one run.

Coming into the game the Owlz had been undefeated when scoring first. The loss was Orem's first of the season when striking first, making them now 15-1 in such situations.

The Voyagers tied the game in the bottom half of the inning, when designated hitter Amado Nunez came home on a fielding error commited by Owlz second baseman Matt McCann.

Entering the game, McCann had been the only infielder on the team to not have committed an error.

McCann had gone the first 17 games of his Minor League career without committing an error before ending his night with a total of two. The second of those came in the eigth inning when McCann misplayed a ground ball that allowed Great Falls left fielder Jacob Cooper to reach base.

The two errors by McCann came as part of a season-high four errors committed in the game by the Owlz, who had committed the least amount of errors of any team in the Pioneer League entering the game, now with 24 on the season.

The first earned run of the game allowed by the Owlz came home in the fourth inning, when Tate Blackman lined a double into the left-center field gap, allowing Great Falls catcher Nate Nolan to score from first base, giving the Voyagers a 2-1 lead.

This run ended up tagging Rodriguez for his first loss of the season, where he surrendered a total of two runs (one earned) in five innings pitched, working around five hits and one walk, while striking out three batters.

Coming into the day the Owlz had been 4-0 in games started by Rodriguez.

The decisive third run of the game came home in the sixth inning when Nate Nolan hit a solo home run over the left field wall to give the Voyagers a 3-1 lead.

The home run was hit off of Owlz right-handed pitcher Isaac Mattson, making for his first run allowed in an Owlz uniform.

Nolan ended his night having gone 3-4 at the plate with two runs scored and one batted in, on the home run.

In the top half of that inning, Owlz shortstop Leonardo Rivas drew a leadoff walk before being stranded on third base.

Rivas ended his night having gone 0-3 without scoring a running, ending his streak of having scored a run in nine straight games.

The final Owlz run was scored in the eigth inning, when Brandon Sandoval hit his second professional home run over the left fielder Jacob Cooper's head and out of the ball park to make the score 3-2.

Sandoval ended his night with a team best- 3-4 day at the plate, scoring one run and batting in one run.

Entering the game the Owlz had been 7-0 in games where they'd hit a home run, as the loss ended that streak as well.

Owlz outfielder Jonah Todd provided the Owlz with a shred hope, when he doubled off of the left field wall with two outs in the ninth inning.

This double served as a silver lining, as it extended Todd's on-base streak to 19 games to begin his Minor League career. 

However third baseman Franklin Torres then grounded out to third base on the very next pitch, ending the Owlz' threat and the ball game, with a final score of 3-2.

The loss drops the Owlz to a Pioneer League best record of 16-7 on the year, in control of a four-game lead over the Ogden Raptors atop the Pioneer League South standings.

Game Two of the Owlz' three game series with the Voyagers will be played tomorrow night at Centene Stadium in Great Falls, with first pitch scheduled for 7:00 MT.

Coverage begins with the Voice of the Owlz, Steven Cusumano, 15 minutes prior to first pitch on the Orem Owlz Baseball Network.

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

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