OGDEN — Provo Angels outfielder Sam Swenson is proving that he belongs.
The Bingham High grad, signed as a undrafted free-agent by the Angels after his senior year at the University of Utah, is currently fourth in the Pioneer League in hitting at .377, and Saturday night he belted his league-leading eighth homer and pinch-hitter Greg Porter hit his sixth of the year — a two-run homer in the ninth — to lead the Angels to the 7-6 victory over the Ogden Raptors.
After going 0-for-4 Friday night, Swenson went 2-for-4 with a homer, sac fly, double and four RBIs in the one-run win Saturday.
"I was on a tear there for a while, but you know what baseball is all about — slumps and highs," Swenson said of his game before the 0-fer two nights ago. "I knew that was going to end, and I wasn't going to stay hot forever. I made some adjustments and tried to slow everything down and I turned on some balls today."
Along with the sparkling batting average that is second-best on the club, Swenson has knocked in 21 runs, and is also first in the league in slugging percentage (.768) and third in on-base percentage (.456).
Swenson was in the opening-day starting line-up but played in only three of the first seven, but since that time he's played in 17 of the last 21.
After taking the lead in the bottom of the eighth, Ogden went to its closer Mike Adams, but the first four Angels reached in the ninth — two of whom scored on Porter's long ball.
Ogden made things interesting in the ninth by scoring a run off reliever Kris Sutton, but Mark O'Sullivan struck out Eure with the tying run on third to preserve the victory.
"I told the team at the first of the year that Ogden is the team we're going to have to beat," Provo manager Tom Kotchman said. "They're a good team."
The Raptors (10-16) led 1-0 on an RBI ground out by Jeff Eure in the second, and led again at 2-1 on a error that allowed Carlos Soriano score after stealing third base.
Ogden's Corey Hart singled and later scored on an RBI single by Eure to tie the game at 4-all, and then took the lead at 5-4 on an RBI single by Ralph Santana in the eighth.
Behind Swenson and Porter, David Gates, Casey Smith, Dallas McPherson and Ed Tolzien all had two hits for the Angels, while Soriano had two hits and two RBIs for the Raptors, and Corey Hart had three hits and three runs scored.
The two teams square off in the second game of the series today at 1 p.m. at Lindquist Field.
GAME NOTES: The Milwaukee Brewers came to terms with first-round selection (12th overall) Mike Jones with a $2,075,000 signing bonus. He has thrown in two simulated games for the Raptors, and should see action next week . . . The Angels are yet sign first round selection Casey Kotchman (13th overall) . . . The first-place Angels lead the Pioneer League in team batting average (.298) and team pitching (3.14 ERA) . . . The Angels have seven pitchers with perfect records with Tony Arthur (6-0), Pedro Liriano (4-0) and Jason Dennis (3-0) leading the way.