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Angels win again, finally rip a homer

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PROVO — The Provo Angels' long-ball drought is over.

They recorded their first home run in franchise history Wednesday night — four games into the season. But it came from an unlikely source.

Ed Welch, a centerfielder who was batting ninth in the order, drilled three-run homer in the third inning, highlighting the Angels' 16-3 drubbing of the Casper Rockies at Larry H. Miller Field.

Provo earned its third consecutive win to improve to 3-1 on the season while the Rockies fell to 1-4.

For Welch, who played last year in the Pioneer League, it also marked his first professional homer.

Nobody seemed more surprised by his blast than Welch himself. He was sprinting around second by the time the ball cleared the wall in right-center field.

"I'm not a power hitter," explained Welch. "I wanted to make sure it was out of the park."

Welch was also happy to have made Provo Angels history. "It feels great," he said. "It's something for the record books."

Designated hitter Josh Gray crushed another home run, a solo shot, in the seventh inning.

This game was over quickly as the Angels scored six runs in the first inning and cruised from there. Provo collected 12 hits.

"Hopefully after tonight our batting average is higher than my cholesterol," joked Angels manager Tom Kotchman.

Jentry Beckstead, an Alta High and Salt Lake Community College product, pitched a perfect eighth inning for Casper.

The Angels and Rockies close their three-game series tonight at 7.

ANGEL NOTES: Wednesday's attendance was 724 . . . Outfielder Ryan Webb injured his pinky finger while sliding headfirst into home and could be out of action for a while, Kotchman said . . . The Angels have scored double-digit runs in two straight games.