Nature's Laws Reversed as Owlz Gobble up Raptors

OGDEN, Utah-- The Raptors were buried under a six-run fourth inning in the final game of the Pioneer League South Division Playoffs and Orem advanced to the finals against the Helena Brewers. Despite the bitter loss, Manager Juan Bustabad's club had a fine season, coming within just a few games of winning both halves of the split season.

Orem banged out 16 hits, seven of them -- three singles, three doubles and a home run -- came in the fourth inning when Orem sent 10 batters to the plate.

Owlz pitchers were as tough as their hitters this game, limiting the Raptors to a single run, a home run in the first inning by shortstop Juan Rivera, who had hit only two homers during the season.

Orem starter Daniel Hawkins allowed just that one hit in five scoreless innings. Ogden was held to six runs in the three game series, one in the first, four in the second and one in the fourth.

Ogden starter Cory Wade sailed through the first three innings, striking out five of the first eight batters he faced, but then got came the decisive fourth.

Orem added single runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth to nail down the right to face Helena in the finals.

Ogden loaded the bases in the bottom of the fourth only to have a double play end the inning. A second double play in the sixth wiped out back-to-back singles by B.J. Sutherland and Russ Mitchell.

Outfielder Drew Locke got a single in the seventh, and catcher Juan Apodaca briefly delayed the end of the season with two-out hit to right field in the ninth. But yet the end came to a disappointed band of Raptors.

"It just wasn't meant to be," Bustabad said. "They got a good team; it's going to be a good series between them and Helena. We made the playoffs and that was our goal. At least we're here. Other teams were going home -- we were still playing."