This one was over almost before it started.
The Ogden Raptors were planning on starting pitcher Mike Megrew on Sunday afternoon in game two of the Pioneer League semifinals. They had surprised the favored Provo Angels in game one and had a chance to close out the series.
The only problem was when Megrew went to warm up, he couldn't. His elbow was giving him problems in warm ups, and it never felt ready to pitch.
Because Megrew was unable to start, the Raptors were forced to use their bullpen pitchers, and Provo took advantage early and often in pounding Ogden 20-5.
"We expected Megrew, and when he couldn't go it changed the whole mindset of our players," Angels manager Tom Kotchman said.
Whatever mindset it was the players found, they should hope they can get there again. The Angels batted around in the first inning. The offensive explosion was highlighted by a grand slam from shortstop Brandon Wood. By the time the inning was over, Provo had scored six runs on three hits and put Ogden in a hole from which it could not recover.
"It all started with two outs. Their pitcher got our first two batters, but then things just sort of went our way. I thought Wood's home run was just a routine fly ball, but the ball just seemed to carry today," Kotchman said.
The ball did not carry only for Wood, but it was flying for third baseman Matt Brown as well. Brown would hit a grand slam in the sixth inning, followed by a three-run blast in the eighth. He finished the game 2-for-4 with seven RBIs. He was hit by pitches his first two plate appearances.
The winning pitcher was Daniel Davidson. Davidson led the league in ERA with an impressive 1.64, and Kotchman was thrilled to get him in the game.
"When he was at Florida State he missed pitching in the big game because they were holding him out, and his team lost. I wanted to make sure he got his start for us. He gave us six good innings. He's not going to blow you away, but he knows how to pitch," Kotchman said.
Raptor Chin-lung Hu played his final game for Ogden, and he left on a good note. Hu homered in his final at bat, He must return to his native Taiwan for mandatory military service. It was definitely the highlight of the game for Ogden fans.
The two teams will meet again tonight at 7 at Lindquist Field to determine who will advance to the Pioneer League championship series.