Monday, June 29, 2009

Orem Owlz 8, Idaho Falls Chukars 7

June 27, 2009

Brent Brown Ballpark, on the campus of Utah Valley University in Orem, is in a close battle with Boise Memorial Stadium for the title of prettiest setting yet visited on Weisenheimer baseball tours. We saw the homestanding Orem Owlz fall behind 6-0 in the fourth, then come from behind by twos, defeating the Idaho Falls Chukars 8-7 on Justin Bass's two-out, two run double in the bottom of the ninth.

One would think that a rousing come-from-behind win on a gorgeous evening in a beautiful little ballpark would be the recipe for a totally delightful outing. Alas, there were a lot of negatives about Owlz baseball, starting with the fact that you can't buy a beer in the ballpark. Baseball=warm evening+hot dog+brew. Maybe some peanuts. I reckon that, being in Utah, I should have expected this. But it honestly didn't occur to me until I was at the counter. The rest of the concessions at BBB were so-so at best. The "Hootz" dog, a foot-long frank, was good in itself, but the bun was toasted to a crunchiness you really don't want, perhaps from being in the heating tray since Thursday. The bottled water was tasty, but the corn was popped some time during the Nixon administration.

Did I mention there was no beer?

Even getting to the ballpark was a challenge. The whole addressing and street-grid layout of the greater Salt Lake City area seems designed to confound even the finest GPS system and befuddle visitors from blue states. Even when we could actually see the yard it still took us 20 minutes to get there. Winding one's way onto the campus and then finding the ballpark was not intuitive.

Did I mention there was no beer?

My Sweetie, the official scorer, gives the Owlz a D+ on their lineup announcing. They never gave the batting order for the Owlz, instead announcing them by defensive position as they ran out for the top of the first. They did announce slowly enough so that one could write the lineups down.

Did I mention there was no beer?

In the bottom of the first a couple of guys turned up wanting our seats. I'd ordered in advance on-line and got front-row seats just to the left of home plate. Sure enough, the late-comers had the same two seats on pre-printed tickets; they must have been season tickets or something. There were plenty of seats nearby so it wasn't a problem.

Did I mention there was no beer?

As for the game itself, it was a doozy. The Chukars took a 2-0 lead in the third on a home run by Deivy Batista, who also hit a triple in a four-run fourth as Idaho Falls jumped to a 6-0 lead. Orem got them back two at a time before winning in the ninth. Chukar closer Cole White has a little Nuke LaLoosh in him -- a live arm, but he's not always sure where it's going. He walked the bases loaded in the eighth before fanning Dillon Baird for the final out. In the ninth he walked Richard Cates with two out and a man on to set up Bass for the game winner.

Despite the glitches it was a fun time out at the park. A beer would have been nice, though.


David said...

Watching baseball without beer is like eating Oreos without milk. It simply shouldn't be done. Period.

Lisa said...

Am I to understand there was no beer? From what I read I am starting to get an inkling of that, but I am not sure. Was there no beer?

Sweetie the Official Scorer said...

Come to think of it, I'm surprised they didn't offer us oreos and milk! And a nap for the seventh inning stretch...

Katie Baird said...

Hey, humorous post, and I was glad to find it since: a) my husband calls me "Sweetie" (I don't think he recalls my actual name; b) I love baseball and c) my son plays on the Orem Owlz this summer. So... glad to find your coverage of an evening there!

Weisenheimer said...


We're glad you found us! My Sweetie, the official scorer, is often taken to be some sort of advance scout. We had a nice visit to Orem, despite the thirst. There are a lot of thunderstorms in the Pioneer League. Best of luck to Dillon!