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Surprise notches second win behind Ohlman's blast

Orioles prospect's decisive solo shot breaks tie in big sixth inning

For three innings Wednesday, Peoria starter Matt Heidenreich kept the Surprise hitters off balance. The Astros' prospect threw three no-hit innings as the Javelinas built a two-run lead.

But once Heidenreich exited the game, the Saguaros' bats came to life. Designated hitter Michael Ohlman hit a solo home run in the sixth inning to break a 3-3 tie and give Surprise the lead for good.

The Saguaros added two more runs in the sixth and went on to a 9-5 win at Surprise Stadium. It was Surprise's second victory against Peoria in as many days to begin the Arizona Fall League season.

"We have a lot of fun," Ohlman said. "It's a good atmosphere in the clubhouse. It's a great feeling to be winning and we're looking forward to winning some more."

Ohlman's home run came off Phillies prospect Mike Nesseth. After Ohlman got ahead in the count he said he just looking for good pitch to hit.

"I got in good hitter's count at 2-0 and he left one out over the plate," Ohlman said. "I put a good swing on it."

After Ohlman gave the Saguaros the lead, they kept adding insurance runs. Center fielder Mitch Haniger and third baseman Ryan Rua each hit two-out RBI singles later in the inning. Then, in the eighth, first baseman Travis Shaw hit a two-run home run.

Haniger, who hit a grand slam Tuesday, went 3-for-5 with a run and three RBIs. Ohlman finished the game 2-for-3 with a double and two runs to go with his homer.

The Saguaros' offense helped overcome a tough start from left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez, the Orioles' No. 2 prospect. He allowed two runs on three hits in three innings. Rodriguez struck out three batters and reportedly touched 94 mph with his fastball.

Ohlman has often caught Rodriguez in the last two years, including earlier this season when they were both in Class A Advanced Frederick. He said Rodriguez threw well Wednesday.

"[Rodriguez] looked about as good as he always does," Ohlman said. "He is very consistent pounding the strike zone. A couple things didn't go his way, but offensively we picked him up and the bullpen did, too."

Catcher Jake Lowery gave Peoria the early lead with a two-out, two-run single off Rodriguez in the second inning.

Right fielder Jorge Bonifacio, the Royals' No. 5 prospect, went 2-for-4 with two runs a double to lead the Javelinas. But ultimately, Surprise's offense proved to be too much for Peoria.

After starting the season 2-0, Ohlman said he is pleased with how the first two games have gone for him and the Saguaros. But he knows there is a lot of baseball left.

"That's a great start to the season, but we've got six more weeks out here," Ohlman said. "I've got to try to remain consistent."

Teddy Cahill is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill.
Read More: Peoria Javelinas, Surprise Saguaros, Jorge Bonifacio, Travis Shaw, Matt Heidenreich, Ryan Rua, Michael Ohlman, Mitch Haniger, Eduardo Rodriguez