OREM In his professional debut, Orem starter Kyle Hurst didn't earn a win, but his team did.
The Owlz topped the Ogden Raptors 8-7 Saturday night at Brent Brown Ballpark, reeling off their fifth straight victory.
With his dad, Bruce Hurst the former Major Leaguer in attendance, Kyle Hurst pitched 2 2/3 innings before being lifted amid a 5-5 tie. But his Owlz teammates provided enough offense to notch another triumph.
"It wasn't exactly how I drew it up," Kyle Hurst said of his performance. "But we've got a group of guys who can hit."
Bruce Hurst, who starred as a Boston Red Sox pitcher in the 1980s, threw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the game, then Kyle Hurst promptly surrendered four runs in the first inning. Ogden's Kyle Russell blasted Hurst's first-pitch fastball over the wall for a two-run home run and a two-run single by Matt Wallach propelled the Raptors to a 4-0 advantage. Still, because of an Orem error, Hurst was tagged with only two earned runs.
Orem rallied quickly, however. The Owlz scored a pair of runs in their half of the first, then added three more in the bottom of the second. They took the lead for good in the fourth frame on an RBI single by Roberto Lopez before holding on for the win.
Kyle Hurst said he turned off his cell phone all day Saturday to focus on his first professional outing, adding that the experience was much more intense than what he was used to at South Mountain Community College in Phoenix, Ariz.
"I had more butterflies than usual before the game," he said. "Not much of my stuff was working tonight. But I learned a lot in the short time I was out there."
For Bruce Hurst, watching his son pitch professionally for the first time was special.
"It was a thrill to be here," he said. "This is something he's always wanted to do and hopefully this is something he'll be doing for a long time."
Orem manager Tom Kotchman's son, Casey, plays for the parent club, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
"I can relate (to the Hursts)," he said. "It's a neat thing for Bruce to have played in the Big Leagues and have a son starting out. Kyle's proud of his dad, but he's his own person. We're pleased to have him here."
In all, Hurst yielded seven hits, walked one and struck out four.
Orem's Gabe Jacobo collected three hits on the night while Rian Kiniry, Angel Castillo, Luis Jimenez and Lopez each had two hits apiece to lead Orem's 12-hit attack.
"We had six hits with two strikes on us, which is huge," Kotchman said.
Ogden's Russell and Clay Calfee, who also belted a home run in the sixth inning, had three hits each.With the win, the Owlz remained perfect on the season. Orem improved to 5-0 on the season while the Raptors fell to 0-5. The two Pioneer League rivals close out their six-game series today at 4 p.m., with the Owlz looking to complete the sweep.
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