The Salt Lake Bees led only two innings out of 14 during Saturday's doubleheader against the Las Vegas 51s. Second baseman Adam Pavkovich made sure one of them was enough for a win.
After the Las Vegas 51s shut out the Bees in the first game of their doubleheader, 3-0, Pavkovich's two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth was the difference in the second game, which Salt Lake won 6-4.
Las Vegas scored all three runs of the first game in the top of the first inning, and all came by way of home runs. Right fielder Jason Repko led the game off with a solo shot, and three batters later first baseman John Lindsey crushed a two-run shot over the fence.
"We struggled the first game," said Salt Lake manager Bobby Mitchell. "We made some basic fundamental mistakes, not getting runners in from third."
Salt Lake accrued eight hits in the first game but was unable to manufacture any runs to support pitcher Nick Green, who picked up the loss. Pitcher Eric Stults earned the win for Las Vegas, and Mike Koplove picked up his fourth save of the season.
Salt Lake scored first in the second game after Coby Smith singled home Pavkovich, who hit a triple in the previous at bat.
Las Vegas answered in the top of the third with four runs, capped off by John-Ford Griffin's own two-run homer. Las Vegas led 4-1 after three innings.
Salt Lake whittled the deficit to one heading into the sixth inning. Brandon Wood led off the inning with a single, and Dee Brown reached on a walk. With nobody out and two on, Gary Patchett laid down a sacrifice bunt that everybody at Franklin Covey Field saw coming.
Except Las Vegas, apparently. Wood blasted off second base and came all the way around to score on the play, giving Salt Lake the momentum.
"It's a hustle play, a play you don't see very often. It energized the team," Mitchell said. "I didn't see that the catcher had vacated home."
With the score tied 4-4 and the pressure of an elephant off his back, Pavkovich put the game out of reach. Pavkovich finished 2-for-2 in game two, added a triple to his longball, scored twice and batted in three.
Salt Lake pitcher Jeff Kennard picked up the win and Jason Bulger the save. Both pitched one inning, and each gave up one hit and zero runs.
Dwayne Pollok took the loss for Las Vegas. Pollock pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing six runs on eight hits and striking out three.
"(Pollock) was throwing a cutter all game," Pavkovich said, "So I was looking for the cutter."