OREM The Orem Owlz may be the reigning Pioneer League champions, but the Ogden Raptors weren't about to let them escape their season-opener Tuesday night without a fight.
Geison Augasviva tossed six innings and scattered eight hits while striking out eight for the Raptors, but it wasn't enough as the Owlz squeaked by with a 13-inning 6-5 victory at Brent Brown Ballpark.
Owlz right-fielder Angel Castillo ended the marathon with a bases-loaded fly ball that eluded Raptors' right fielder Lyndon Poole and fell harmlessly onto the warning track. Castillo finished the game 3-for-6 with one RBI and one run scored.
Despite not having a single hit and just one base runner in the first three innings, the Raptors got on the scoreboard first with two runs in the top of the fourth on a double by Pedro Baez.
The Raptors extended the advantage to 3-0 in the top of the sixth on an RBI double by Kyle Orr.
The Owlz clawed back in the bottom of the sixth, however, thanks to two Raptors' fielding errors, cutting the lead to 3-2.
The Owlz took advantage of another Raptors' fielding error in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game. With Castillo on second and just one out, Luis Jimenez lashed a sharp grounder that skipped off the glove of Baez at third and into left field. Donato Giovanatto proceeded to bring Castillo home with a sacrifice fly to center field.
The score remained 3-3 until the top of the 11th when the Raptors regained the lead. With one out, Yossandy Garcia and Orr connected on back-to-back doubles to put the Raptors up 4-3. After a single by Baez sent Orr to third, Clay Calfee, who had struck out in all four of his previous at-bats, grounded into a fielders choice to give the Raptors a two-run cushion.
But as they had all night long, the Owlz fought back in the bottom of the frame, tying the game at five on a bases-loaded walk to Darwin Perez. The Owlz actually had two chances to end it but the Raptors' Javier Solano quelled the threat with back-to-back strikeouts of Ivan Contreras and Rian Kiniry.
The Owlz squandered another scoring opportunity in the bottom of the 12th with Castillo on second and two outs when Baez backhanded a low line drive at third off the bat of Roberto Lopez.
Augasviva gave the Owlz fits in the early going. When he left the game after the sixth inning he had thrown 70 pitches, 55 of which were strikes. He also induced three critical double plays.
Jose Perez started for the Owlz and pitched five innings, allowing two runs on just three hits. He walked one and struck out five.
The game, which featured the largest ever crowd for an Owlz home-opener (4,211), was delayed for half an hour just before the bottom of the 13th when a storm knocked out power to all the lights.