Monday , September 11, 2017 - 9:50 PM
Edwin Uceta took a cue from Osiris Ramirez, rekindled his old mound dominance and the Ogden Raptors advanced to the Pioneer League Championship Series with a 7-3 win over the Orem Owlz at Brent Brown Ballpark.
The Raptors advance to the championship series for the fifth time in team history and the first since 2012, looking to win their first title after bringing baseball back to Ogden in 1994.
Ogden will host Game 1 of the championship series at 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14, at Lindquist Field. Tickets for all seats are $5. The Raptors will face the Great Falls Voyagers, who swept Missoula in the North Division series.
The 19-year-old Uceta threw five strong innings, taking a one-hitter into the fifth before giving up a solo home run to Harrison Wenson. The other hit came when Leonardo Rivas tripled in the first and scored on a wild pitch.
Those were his only mistakes, bringing back the kind of effort that saw him throw 12 consecutive scoreless innings earlier in the second half that included a six-inning perfect start.
Just like Ramirez’s five innings in Sunday’s home win, the Ogden starter received a bounty of offensive support Monday.
Uceta first took the mound with a 2-0 lead thanks to a two-RBI triple from Mitchell Hansen in the top of the first.
Orem’s starter, 18-year-old Jose Soriano making his second start in Orem, walked the bases loaded in the second. He was replaced by Isaac Mattson, who was greeted with a grand slam blast from Romer Cuadrado, putting Ogden ahead 6-1.
Hansen tripled again in the fifth, his deep fly ball bouncing off the top of the wall, and scored on a Connor Heady sacrifice fly for a 7-1 lead.
Kevin Williams hit a sixth-inning, solo home run to pull Orem within four runs at 7-3, but that’s as close as the Owlz would get.
Zach Hartman and Justin Hoyt each pitched a scoreless inning to close out the win, combining to strike out three while giving up one hit.
In Hoyt’s last nine appearances, he’s pitched 16 innings, given up 11 hits and no earned runs, striking out 24 while walking only four.
In the North Division, Great Falls swept Missoula in decisions of 7-4 and 8-5 this week. Ogden went 3-4 against Great Falls this season, all in the second half, but also finished 13 games better than the Voyagers in the regular-season standings.
Great Falls makes its first appearance in the Pioneer League Championship Series since 2011, which was also against Ogden, a 2-0 sweep.
Contact Brett Hein at email@example.com, on Twitter @bhein3 and at facebook.com/brettheinwrites.
Sign up for e-mail news updates.