The Sidewinders and Salt Lake were the top two scoring teams in the offense-friendly Pacific Coast League this season. So, it almost figures in the weird world of baseball, that the teams would struggle to score runs in their playoff showdown.
And struggle they have. Dustin Moseley delivered a strong performance for the Angels' top affiliate, allowing just two earned runs over eight innings. Unfortunately for him and his teammates, he also committed one of two errors in the first inning that allowed the deciding two unearned runs to cross the plate.
Moseley, who finished the regular season with a share of the league lead at 13 wins, gave up just four hits and three walks while going for a complete game in Tucson, but his offense never was able to overcome the first inning trouble.
At the plate, utility man Adam Pavkovich had the club's only hit through the first seven innings thanks to an infield single in the third. He also collected another single after a one-out walk in the eighth.
After Tommy Murphy followed with an RBI single to chase Sidewinders starter Dustin Nippert, the Bees sent the tying run to the plate against the Snakes' bullpen, but despite a sacrifice fly to pull within two, they would not put another runner on base.
Trailing 2-0 in a best-of-five series, the Bees return home to continue the Division Series at 7:00 local time Friday.
Lights go out on Orem's 8-4 season-ending loss
Since the Orem Owlz had already clinched first place in both halves of the Pioneer League season, and had moved the start time of their final contest of the year up an hour to help them get on the road to open the playoffs in Idaho Falls, a suspicious soul might wonder about the timing of their fluke power outage Thursday evening.
Just after the end of the fifth inning, as the game became official, two of the five banks of lights at their home field went dark, leaving the field unplayable and ending their last regular-season contest at an 8-4 final.
Bobby Cassevah gave up seven earned runs in just three innings thanks to spotty control and a poorly-timed elevated pitch that yielded a three-run homer. The righty walked four and hit a batter in the contest to fall to 2-5 on the year.
The Owlz bullpen escaped what could have been a taxing night headed into the playoffs, having to rely only on two innings of one-run ball from Leonardo Calderon. Had the game gone the typical nine innings, they would have undoubtedly used at least two more arms.
At the plate, second baseman Tadd Brewer was the only Owlz hitter to earn his way on base twice and had one of the club's two doubles on the night.
Chris Pettit had his league-leading 25th two-bagger of the year to drive in a pair and finish the year as the club's leader in average, hits, extra-base hits, RBIs, walks, on-base and slugging percentage.
The Owlz open their best-of-three first round playoff series against the Chukars Friday at 7:15.