PROVO — Unlike the Provo Angels' inaugural game last Saturday night, there was no pomp and circumstance accompanying the second one on Monday at Larry H. Miller Field. There was little fanfare and a lot of empty seats in the stands.
But the hype-less atmosphere went over well with the Angels, who won their first game in franchise history — a 6-2 triumph over Ogden. Aside from a crate of Twinkies being delivered to the locker room afterward, nobody made a big deal about the feat.
Excuse Provo interim manager/hitting coach Todd Claus if he's not turning handsprings down University Avenue because of his team's first victory.
"I don't think a team's ever gone 0-76 in a season," Claus said matter-of-factly. "It had to come at some point."
Only several hundred fans were at Miller Park to witness the win — probably due to the 5 p.m. start. All of the Angels' Monday games in Provo will begin in the late afternoon to comply with BYU's policy of not hosting sporting events on campus on Monday evenings. Almost all the other, non-Monday games begin at 7 p.m.
Suffice it to say, the Angels enjoy the early starting time. "I like the change. It's a good break," Claus said. "We play 76 games in a season, so anything to mix it up is welcome."
Plus, there's another fringe benefit. "It gives the players a chance to go where they want to eat in this town without everything being closed," Claus said.
After a shaky opener, the Angels broke out offensively. They registered only three hits on Saturday, but banged out 10 on Monday.
Four Angel batters — second baseman Maximo Pichardo, catcher Al Corbeil, right fielder Greg Porter and shortstop Jonathan Cahill — collected two hits apiece. Pichardo (who is now 4-for-6 in his first two games), center fielder Nick Gorneault and left fielder Ryan Webb each hit a triple.
"That first night, we tried to do too much at the plate," Claus said. "We had too much anxiety and we were overswinging."
The Angels are still looking for their first home run in franchise history, however. Meanwhile, Ogden's Carlos Soriano belted the first Pioneer League homer at Miller Park, a solo shot in the fifth inning off of Tony Arthur.
Nonetheless, Arthur picked up the victory for the Angels. He pitched five innings, gave up three hits, struck out five and did not issue a walk. Steve Andrade replaced Arthur in the sixth and while he surrendered three hits in two innings of work, he did not allow a run and struck out five. Larry Bowles and Jake Woods mopped up in relief and together struck out four more.
The Casper Rockies, who, like the Angels, are a new Pioneer League team in 2001, visit Provo for a three-game series beginning tonight. Right-hander Pedro Liriano is schedule to make the start for the Angels.
ANGEL NOTES: The Anaheim Angels have agreed to terms with their second-round draft pick, third baseman DallasMcPherson, and their fifth-round pick, left-handed pitcher BradPinkerton. Both players have been assigned to Provo . . . Angel manager Tom Kotchman, who has been negotiating the contract of his son, Anaheim first-round pick CaseyKotchman, is scheduled to report to Provo on Tuesday.