OREM For the last five days, Donato Giovanatto has been wondering why nobody in the media seems to want to interview him.
All he needed to do was collect the game-winning hit.
Giovanatto went 3-for-5 and knocked home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth on Saturday as the Orem Owlz defeated the Helena Brewers 3-2 at Brent Brown Ballpark.
The victory completed a three-game sweep of the Brewers and extended the Owlz' winning streak to six games.
"I'm still bitter," Giovanatto said with a small smile about not being interviewed before Saturday.
With the score tied at 2-2 and two out in the bottom of the ninth, Tyson Auer walked. Roberto Lopez then grounded one to short, but the feed by David Fonseca was dropped by second baseman Jose Duran, allowing both runners to reach safely. Giovanatto came up next and slashed a 1-1 fastball into right field to bring Auer home.
"The wind was blowing in, so I just wanted to hit it on the ground," Giovanatto said.
Wind, lightning and two rain delays made the game more interesting than Giovanatto or any of the Owlz would have liked.
"I was getting hungry," Giovanatto said.
The game was delayed for seven minutes in the top of the first as intense showers rolled over the ballpark. Then, with one out in the bottom of the first, the umpires had to call the game again, this time for 57 minutes, as another system rolled through.
Fortunately for the Owlz, the delays didn't last any longer.
"If that had gone another 15 minutes, (Will) Smith wouldn't have been out there," Owlz manager Tom Kotchman said.
Smith started for the Owlz and allowed one run and five hits in five innings of work. He walked none and struck out seven.
"They're never fun," Smith said of the delays. "You can't let your arm get tight. (Pitching coach) Zeke (Zimmerman) told me what to do and what not to do."
The Owlz wasted little time getting on the scoreboard with a run in the bottom of the first. With one out, Auer walked. Auer stole second and then moved to third after the attempt to throw him out skipped into center field. The game was called for the second time after Lopez walked to put runners on the corners.
After the delay, the game resumed with Giovanatto at the plate. Giovanatto blooped a single to right to score Auer, but was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a double.
The Owlz got another run in the bottom of the fourth to extend the lead to 2-0. Giovanatto led off with a double down the left-field line and then scored on an infield single to second by Ryan Groth. The throw to first went past first baseman Brock Kjeldgaard, allowing Groth to reach safely. The Owlz had a chance to do even more damage in the inning, but Darwin Perez struck out with the bases loaded.
The Brewers scored one in the fifth and one in the sixth to even the score.
The Owlz loaded the bases again in the bottom of the eighth, but Dwayne Bailey grounded out to first.
With the win, the Owlz (8-4, 33-17) remain just a game back of the Ogden Raptors (9-3, 28-22) in the Pioneer League South second-half standings. The Raptors defeated the Missoula Osprey 6-5 Saturday evening and have now won seven in a row.
The Owlz will start a four-game series with the struggling Osprey this afternoon at 4:05 p.m.