OREM Roberto Lopez did it all, as the Orem Owlz defeated the Great Falls Voyagers 2-1 in the second game of a four-game set between the Pioneer League's two first-place teams.
Orem's left fielder improved his hitting streak to 21 games by going 3-4 with an RBI single behind the plate and added an outfield assist to prevent Great Falls from tying the game.
"I was happy about both, but probably more throwing the guy out at the plate," Lopez said. "I didn't even know how big that was going to be until we only scored two runs. It obviously helped a lot."
The Owlz struck first in the bottom of the second. Shortstop Darwin Perez stretched a single into a double, and Lopez took the first pitch he saw back up the middle to drive in Perez.
The Voyagers threatened in the top of the fourth, putting runners on the corners with nobody out. But center fielder Jordan Cheatham flew out to left, and Lopez gunned down catcher Mike Grace at home, allowing Orem to maintain its one-run lead.
"That was one of the the keys of the game," Owlz manager Tom Kotchman said. "It's one of the things that get forgotten because it happened early, but that's big."
Orem tacked on another run in the bottom of the inning. To get things started, designated hitter Donato Giovanatto took first base on a strikeout and a passed ball.
He advanced to third on a wild pitch and catcher Beau Brooks' single up the middle. Second baseman Ivan Contreras then hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Giovanatto.
Great Falls finally got on the board in the top of the eighth. After Orem reliever Kevin Nabors retired the first two batters, he surrendered a single to Grace.
Left fielder Johny Celis then drilled a double over center fielder Rian Kiniry's head Great Falls' first extra base hit of the game cut the score to 2-1.
Celis moved to third on a passed ball, but Cheatham struck out looking to end the threat.
Reyes Dorado came out in the top of the ninth looking to get a save. He gave up a two-out single to third baseman Kyle Shelton, but struck out shortstop Lee Fischer on three pitches to close out the game.
After dropping the previous game 7-3, the Owlz improved to 16-6 on the year, while the Voyagers fell to 14-8.
OGDEN Pedro Baez, Kyle Orr and Clay Calfee all nailed doubles in the first inning, bringing in a total of four runs to give the Raptors a strong lead over the Mustangs.
In the sixth inning, the Mustangs started to gain on the Raptors when Alex Buchholz hit a homer, bringing in Tony Brown with him. But the Raptors came back with a knock-out seventh inning, tallying five runs after Baez homered on a fly ball to left field. Ogden outhit Billings 17-7.