Will Juarez Gives Suns a Sweep of Montgomery

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama and OGDEN, Utah-- William Juarez pitched his first career shutout, sending the Suns to their 11th Southern League Championship Series with a 6-0 victory over the Birmingham Barons Saturday. And further north and west, Ogden broke out with four runs in the eighth to win 4-1 and tie the best of three series with Orem.

Juarez hadn't pitched more than 6-1/3 innings this season, but scattered seven hits, completing the nine-inning blanking with 109 pitches.

The Suns chased the Barons starter from the game in the fifth inning after taking a 3-0 lead. Justin Ruggiano, James Loney and Russell Martin each had RBI.

They padded their lead in the sixth inning, scoring three times on six hits. Todd Donovan grounded a two-out, infield RBI single which was the first of four consecutive singles which allowed the Suns to jump to a 6-0 advantage.

The Suns limited the top-scoring team in the Southern League to two runs in the three-game series.

They will face the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx Tuesday at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville in Game 1 of the best-of-five Championship Series. It is a rematch of the 2000 SLCS, where the Diamond Jaxx beat the Suns, three games to two.

Sun Spots: The Suns hold the SL record for most finals appearances. …They beat West Tenn, six games to two during the regular season, winning all four games at the Baseball Grounds. …Jacksonville has won 43 postseason games, more than any other SL team. …The game was only the fourth where the Barons played the night of an overnight bus trip. …The Suns' playoff sweep was its first since beating Knoxville, three games to none in the 1998 East Division Finals. --Joe Block

OGDEN, Utah-- The Raptors, finding themselves with their backs to the wall, carved out a victory over the Orem Owlz to even the Pioneer League playoffs at a game each with a 4-1 win..

All four of Ogden's runs came in the fourth inning, erasing a 1-0 deficit, helped no little bit by shoddy fielding on the part of he Owlz..

Orem broke a 0-0 tie in the fifth inning when Raptor starter John Meloan gave up a one-out triple and a two-out single. He had allowed only a third inning singled before the Owlz broke through.

Ogden threatened in the seventh inning when Jesus Soto doubled and Andrew Locke walked. But Orem's relief pitcher got out of the inning unscored upon.

Meloan left the game after seven innings, having allowed only three hits and a single run while striking out eight. Miguel Ramirez took over and in recorded a 1-2-3 inning.

In the bottom of the eighth Juan Rivera singled to right and Adam Godwin bunted him to second with the Orem pitcher misplaying the ball and both runners were safe.

David Sutherland bounced to third and he threw the ball into right field with Rivera and Godwin scoring to give Ogden their first lead.

Russell Mitchell singled Sutherland across for the third run and then a complicated inning became more complicated.

Jason Mooneyham was hit by pitch and Juan Apodaca bunted the runners to second and third. Mitchell caught stealing home but moments later Mooneyham scored on a passed ball.

Ramirez allowed a leadoff single in the ninth, then retired the next three batters, striking two of them out.

The two clubs meet again today in the final game of the best-of-three series.

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