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Angels’ bats come alive, but it’s not enough

Great Falls lights up Provo pitchers early and often

SHARE Angels’ bats come alive, but it’s not enough

PROVO — The bats that have been sluggish for the Provo Angels came alive Friday night.

Unfortunately for the Angels, they didn't get the same pitching as they have all season in losing 10-9 to the Great Falls White Sox.

After winning three of four low-scoring, one-run games this week against Billings, the Angels pounded out 13 hits in losing the slugfest.

The White Sox posted two quick runs when first-round draft choice Brian Anderson hit a two-run homer to deep center in the first, giving the former University of Arizona star his first professional dinger.

The Angels came right back with four runs in their opening frame. Reggie Willits hit a lead-off homer just inside the left-field foul pole. Then after back-to-back singles, Matt Brown hit a deep three-run homer over the scoreboard — a shot almost identical to his blast Thursday night.

But even before the fans could catch their breath, Great Falls was again slapping the ball around the park, scoring six second-inning runs to jump back on top 8-4. The White Sox batted around in the inning, with the big blast being a bases-loaded double by Ricardo Nanita. Great Falls loaded the bases after Angels left-fielder Chad Hauseman dropped a towering fly ball.

The White Sox pounded Provo starter Hector Astacio for six hits in the first two innings. Astacio, now 0-3, came into the game with a 10.57 ERA. But with the Angels having a doubleheader today, it was clear that manager Tom Kotchman didn't want to go to the bullpen. Astacio actually settled down and struck out five of the next nine batters before Wayne Hedden took over in the fifth.

Provo scratched across a run in the third and another in the fifth, both were knocked in on two-out singles by Warner Madrigal to close to within 8-6.

Great Falls got one back in the sixth on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to deep center. Provo recouped the run in the bottom half when Aaron Peel drove home Willits with a triple into the right-field gap. The Angels put the leadoff hitter on base in five of the first six innings. Tommy Duenas kept the streak alive when he led off the seventh with an opposite-field solo shot over the right-field wall, pulling Provo to within one at 9-8.

The Angels put the tying run on in the eighth when Willits singled. The threat didn't last long, however, when he was picked off first. Brandon Bounds added an insurance run with a solo homer in the top of the ninth. Brown hit his second homer of the game with one out in the ninth, but the final two Angels hitters were retired.

The win was the White Sox's first one-run game of the season. The White Sox (7-4) lead the Pioneer League in hitting and have outscored their Utah opponents 32-14 this week. Today's doubleheader starts at 6:05 p.m.

E-mail: jimr@desnews.com