OREM -- Donn Roach was worth the wait.
He sure looked like it Tuesday, anyway, as he struck out eight while Orem worked its way to a 10-3 win against Ogden in Pioneer League action.
Ogden (7-3), which has lost two straight, will host Orem (5-4) the next two nights at Lindquist Field.
Roach was a 40th-round pick of the Owlz's parent club, the Los Angeles Angels, two summers ago after his senior year of high school. But the family and baseball management couldn't reach an agreement -- in a back-and-forth that often became contentious -- and it was two more years before he would find his way to Orem to start a pro career.
He looked every bit worth the drastically increased signing bonus and higher draft stature, as he was taken in the compensation portion between the third and fourth rounds.
Spotted a 4-2 lead after the first inning, Roach had four more runs in his favor in the fourth and then threw it on dominating auto-pilot through the fifth, giving up a pair of runs and four hits but otherwise thriving. The 6-foot-1 righthander improved on his already-good strikeout-to-walk ratio (5:1) by fanning eight and allowing just one free pass.
Giving up a two-run home run to Ogden slugger Nick Akins, after recording the first two outs in the Raptors' first at-bat, Roach changed strategy.
"I had a pretty good breaking ball. The first inning I threw a lot of fastballs and they started to jump on it. So going to the curveball helped," he said.
If the crowd at Brent Brown Ballpark hadn't seen or heard of Roach before he improved to 3-1, it had to be a little familiar with some of his background.
He was a star at Bishop Gorman High in Las Vegas, and typically has an outstanding baseball team. He wound up at the University of Arizona for a year.
His mound presence unraveled, however, so Roach went to the College of Southern Nevada to fix it.
He played alongside Bryce Harper this past spring, the eventual No. 1 Major League baseball draft pick. That afforded him lots of chances to show off in front of scouts.
Reports suggest they praise him for fixing his delivery, which made for a horrendous experience at UA, and he's known for a three-pitch repertoire that is highlighted by a curveball. The delivery, trying to avoid unnecessary stress on the elbow, was something Roach has worked on for more than a month in Utah County. He was continually used out of the bullpen while he straightened his mechanics.
Roach had plenty of help against the Raptors. Orem had twice as many hits (16-8); Raptors pitcher Bret Montfomery took the loss. Blake Dean and Akins had a pair of hits each for Ogden.
Orem skipper Tom Kotchman praised a slew of two-out hits, plus Travis Witherspoon's bunt single in the first inning that sparked the early lead.