Salt Lake 7, Pocatello 2
In a lot of ways it was a routine Trapper victory.
There was the hammer – in this instance, Jon Beuder’s first-inning grand slam home run. And then there was the chisel – which on this evening was wielded by right-hander Kent Hetrick in the form of a five-hit, complete game. But let’s not kid ourselves. Salt Lake’s 7-2 win over the Pocatello Giants was anything but routine.
In front of 7,657 delirious fans, the hometown rookie team composed of college castoffs that no major league organization wanted, pulled off a feat that only two other cities in the history of professional baseball have managed.
Twenty-seven straight victories.
The Trappers wasted absolutely no time in putting number 27 away. Lead off man Jim Furguson opened the first inning with a single to left. Neil Reynolds sacrificed Ferguson to second with a bunt, and Jon Leake pulled another single into left to put Ferguson in scoring position. Salt Lake Manager Jim Gilligan forced the Giant’s hand by sending Leake, and a bad throw by Pocatello scored Ferguson to make it 1-0.
With two down, the Trappers kept the rally going via an Adam Casillas walk and a one-run single by Mike Malinak that pushed Leake across for a 2-0 lead. Frank Colston then drew another base on balls to load the bases, and Beuder did the rest. The Trapper centerfielder got a hold of a 1-1 pitch that sailed cleanly over the left-field fence for a 6-0 advantage with a lot of people still settling into their seats.
Given a big lead with which to work – and another run in the seventh – Hetrick did not disappoint. The Trapper starter, who ran his record to 6-1 on the season, rarely encountered problems. Hetrick mowed down eight straight batters from the third through the fifth, and the Giants stranded but five baserunners all night.
With the crowd on its feet, Hetrick retired the first two Giants in the ninth before walking the third batter in the inning. After a visit to the mound by Gilligan, Hetrick gave up a long drive to left, but Malinak made a fine running catch to end the game and put the Trappers’ 27th in the bag.
Source: Salt Lake Tribune July 25, 1987