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Owlz fade late, drop meaningless game to Chukars

There wasn't much on the line Wednesday night for the Orem Owlz, who had clinched the second half of the Pioneer League's Southern Division the night before and captured a playoff berth against in-state rival Ogden. And it's a good thing.

Idaho Falls exploded for six runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to capture an 11-4 win over Orem. Even with the victory, the Chukars (15-22) are still in the division basement, six games behind the Owlz, who improved to 21-16 in the second-half.

Orem held a 4-3 lead in the sixth when pitcher Tim Mattison replaced Kelly Shearer and promptly gave up two runs to hand Idaho Falls the lead at 4-5. The Owlz never threatened after that. The Owlz gave up five hits in the seventh, including a double by Joshua Colafemina and a triple by Christopher McConnell. The Owlz also gave up four stolen bases in the inning. Joshua Johnson swiped second and third and then Ethien Santana stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and then stole home to give the Chukars a 9-5 lead.

Orem hosts Ogden on Friday night at 7:05 in the first of a three-game series to determine the Pioneer League champion. Games 2 (Saturday, 7 p.m.) and 3 (Sunday, 4 p.m., if necessary) will be hosted by the Raptors at Lindquist Field in Ogden.