Orem, UTAH Once is nice. Twice is better.
For the second time this season, the Vibes captured the series opener in a 5-3 victory over the Orem Owlz. Nick Kahle (3-for-4, R, 2 2B, 2 RBI) ignited a Vibes offense that collected 11 hits in the series opener.
Better late than never as the three-run eighth inning by the Vibes offense regained a commanding lead. Three singles to start the inning from Luís Avila, Ernesto Martinez, and Antonio Piñero loaded the bases with nobody out. Bryan Torres struck out, bringing Kahle to the plate with one out. Kahle took advantage of a misplayed ball by Orem center fielder Brandon White that resulted in a two-RBI double, scoring Avila and Martinez. Michael Wilson plated Piñero on a groundout to the second, giving the Vibes the 5-2 lead.
The Vibes offense revved up early with back-to-back singles from Ernesto Martinez and Antonio Piñero to start the game. Bryan Torres ushered home Martinez on a sacrifice fly to center, giving the Vibes the early 1-0 lead. The next batter, Kahle, singled to left putting runners on first and second with one out. The Vibes were unable to add on after Michael Wilson grounded into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Following a scoreless second frame, the Owlz scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the third. Vibes’ starter Carlos Luna allowed his first hit of the evening on a leadoff double to center from Brandon White. Luna delivered back-to-back strikeouts before giving up a two-run homer to Pioneer Home Run Leader Jeremiah Jackson. The Owlz led 2-1 after three.
Both pitching staffs settled in with three scoreless innings before a Vibes run to tie the game in the top of the seventh. Kahle led off with a double to right. After a Wilson strikeout, Edwin Sanó smashed his ninth double of the season to right, ushering home Kahle.
The Owlz threatened in the ninth with runners on the corners and no outs. Vibes reliever Maiker Pinto plunked Anthony Mulrine to lead off the inning followed by a single to right, bringing up the Owlz’ best hitter Jackson to the plate. Pinto escaped danger by inducing a 6-4-3 double play and a groundball the following batter to seal the victory.
The Vibes pitching staff strung together strong performances for the second straight night. Luna worked five innings, allowing six hits, two runs (both earned) with seven strikeouts. Reliever Taylor Floyd worked a scoreless sixth on two hits while inducing a crucial 6-4-3 double play. Brady Schanuel earned his third win of the season. Schanuel’s final line: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 SO. Pinto escaped trouble in the ninth to record his third save of the season.
The Rocky Mountain Vibes make the second leg of their nine-game road trip tomorrow with the second game of a three-game series against the Orem Owlz. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.