OREM — The Orem Owlz clinched a Pioneer League playoff berth Tuesday with a 6-2 victory over visiting Ogden.
Orem starting pitcher Daniel Hawkins held the Raptors to two runs over five innings, and the Owlz offense scored two runs apiece in each of the first three innings.
Rafael Cruz Chavez pitched the final three innings for Orem to earn his first save of the season.
Ogden staked itself to an early lead. In the top of the first, Hawkins yielded singles to Adam Godwin and Jesus Soto. Raptors third baseman Russell Mitchell singled to left to bring home Godwin, and Soto scored on a balk to make it 2-0.
The Owlz, however, answered right back in their half of the first. Leadoff man Bradley Coon tripled. Shortstop Hainley Statia doubled to drive home Coon and then scored on Flint Wipke's triple to left, evening it up at 2-2.
In the home half of the second, Statia struck again for Orem. After singles by Billy Boyer and Coon, Statia singled to center to score Boyer and send Coon to third.
Owlz third baseman Dallas Morris grounded into what should have been an inning-ending double play, but Soto threw wild to first after forcing Statia at second. As a result of the error, Coon scored to make it 4-2 in favor of Orem.
In the bottom of the third, the Owlz extended their lead to 6-2 thanks to back-to-back solo home runs by catcher Brett Martinez and right fielder Colby Overstreet. After the rocky first frame, Hawkins settled down, allowing only two hits over his next four innings.
Mike Pete relieved Hawkins and pitched a scoreless sixth for the Owlz. Chavez entered in the seventh, closing out the game with three strikeouts over three scoreless innings.
Ogden starter Cory Wade lasted only three innings and was responsible for all six Orem runs.
Raptors pitchers James McDonald, Miguel Ramirez and Cody White combined for eight strikeouts and five scoreless innings of relief.
The victory means Orem is the Pioneer League southern division second-half champion. As a result, the Owlz will face Ogden — the southern division first-half winner — in a three-game series beginning Friday in Orem.
In the meantime, the Owlz finish their regular season with two road games at Idaho Falls tonight and Thursday.