Category: Game thread

Chukars rout Mustangs, 17-2, behind Gonzalez’s six RBIs

By Luke O’Roark | Post Register | @LukeORoark
The Chukars kept hitting in between the gaps and the Mustangs just couldn’t respond.

No matter how you slice it, Thursday night belonged to Idaho Falls’ trifecta of hitters: Julio Gonzalez, Logan Gray and designated hitter, Darrell Miller Jr.

Chukars’ Julio Gonzalez throws to first to make a double play against the Mustangs at Melaleuca Field in Idaho Falls, Tuesday, August 15, 2017. (Photo/ John Roark, jroark@postregister.com)

The trio combined for 12 RBIs as Idaho Falls routed Billings 17-2 at Melaleuca Field in front of 2,411 fans. Gonzalez led the way offensively with six RBIs while Miller and Gray added three RBIs, respectively.

All three had three or more hits during the win (Miller Jr. and Gonzalez had four hits apiece).

“We all had really good approaches,” Miller Jr. said. “Tried to keep it simple. (The Mustangs) have a really good staff … so it’s good to face pitching like that.”

The win split the four-game series at 2-2 as the Chukars move to 25-29 overall (8-8 second half ).

It was Idaho Falls’ largest-margin of victory since beating Helena 13-1 on July 21. The Chukars’ 22 hits, the second-most this season, made Thursday night’s win all the more sweeter.

Six of those hits came in the bottom of the sixth frame alone.

But while the offense exploded, the Chukars’ bullpen did its job, too.

“(Janser) Lara had a very solid start for us. Throwing the ball, attacking the hitters,” manager Justin Gemoll said. “And we scored runs early and we kept added on throughout the game. It’s a good win for us.”

Simply, the Chukars blasted Mustangs’ pitcher Tyler Mondile (L, 2-4) from the opening frame, registering 12 hits and eight runs.

Mondile finished the night with an ERA of 5.15.

Conversely, Idaho Falls’ starter Janser Lara controlled early and often. Billings’ six hits were one of the lowest totals this season against the Chukars, statistically one of the Pioneer League’s worst pitching and defensive teams.

But as Lara and closer Andrew Beckwith shut the door on Billings (24-28, 6-9), the Chukars kept adding on runs.

Lara finished the night with two runs on five hits while walking one and striking out six. He did allow one home run, as Jeter Downs hit his fourth dinger of the season in the top of the sixth.

Beckwith allowed one hit and struck out two in 2.1 innings pitched Thursday.

“They threw the ball well,” Pitching coach Jeff Suppan said of his bullpen. “Janser threw the ball well, so I was happy for him. I thought he was smooth and had good rhythm. It’s really his first time pitching in the United States, so I think his stuff really played well.”

What’s important:

From the start, this was the Chukars’ night. Six runs in the bottom of the third gave them an early lead and Idaho Falls hardly had a problem afterwards.

Player (s) of the game:

Julio Gonzalez. While Miller Jr., Gray and Janser Lara played a vital role during Thursday night’s win, Gonzalez’s six RBIs were most notable.

Quotable:

“It is nice to get one of these (routs), but it’s by no means a day off. We still have to go up there and keep our foot on the gas and not let up because that’s how a lot of teams come back, especially in this league. It’s an offensive league, so you’re not safe up by freakin’ eight runs. These guys battled, and we battled, and I think it was a good series.” — DH Darrell Miller Jr.

Notables:

– Gonzalez’s six RBIs were a team-high this year. He’s also only the third player to hit five-plus RBIs in a single game this year, joining Robby Rinn and Matt Morales.

– Darrell Miller’s RBI during the first frame was his 30th of the season. His 32 RBIs are tied for second-most (Tyler Straub) on the Chukars.

– An attendee was injured at Melaleuca during the latter portion of Saturday’s game and was transported away by ambulance. Chukars assistant GM Josh Michelson said the attendee was “okay” and had injured themselves from a fall.

Up next: The Chukars are off today. They will return to action Saturday at Grand Junction (27-27, 9-7). First pitch is at 6:40 p.m.

Five Chukars’ players participate in annual All-Star game Tuesday

By Luke O’Roark | Post Register | @Lukeoroark

Some Chukars are enjoying a nice, three-days off from baseball.

Others are having a little fun in Hillsboro, Ore.

Chukars outfiielderAmalani Fukofuka (8) poses for a portrait during the 2017 Chukars Media Day on Saturday afternoon. The Chukars opening game is this Monday at Grand Junction Rockies.
Taylor Carpenter / tcarpenter@postregister.com, 6/17/2017, Lens 30, ISO 200, FStop {fstop}, Shutter 1/250, Aperature {aperature},

Five Chukars participated in this year’s annual Pioneer League All-Star game Tuesday, which pitted the best players from the Pioneer League against the Class A Short Season Northwest League, at Ron Tonkin Field.

The game began at 8 p.m. (MT), as the Northwest League led the Pioneer League 5-4 prior to the Post Register’s deadline Tuesday.

The Pioneer League took an early 4-0 lead after Dallas Carroll singled to left field to score I.F.’s Robby Rinn and Grand Junction’s Ryan Vilade.

After a Shael Mendoza’s single-RBI to right field, Chukars’ right fielder Amalani Fukofuka scored Mendoza (Grand Junction) with a shot to center field to extend the Pioneer League’s lead.

Fukofuka finished the night 1 for 2 with an RBI and a strikeout at the plate. He also had two stolen bases. Darrell Miller Jr. (who is batting .453//500/.616 in 20 games this season) finished the night 0 for 2.

Rinn — the Pioneer League’s RBI leader (38) — was 1 for 3 at the plate by the Post Register’s deadline. He also had one run.

Most of the Northwest League’s damage came against Chukars pitcer, Holden Capps. Capps allowed four earned runs on four hits in 0.2 innings pitched Tuesday night. He finished with a 54.00 ERA.

The Chukars’ Janser Lara, though, looked a bit sharper on the mound. He allowed just one hit in one inning pitched. He did have a wild pitch.

The Pioneer League had six hits and no errors by the bottom of the seventh. The Northwest League had seven hits and no errors.

The Chukars’ regular season continues Thursday at Great Falls’ Centene Stadium. First pitch is at 7 p.m.

Chukars down Osprey late, win 14-7

By Luke O’Roark | Post Register | @LukeORoark
The Chukars’ offense started hot Monday and never cooled down.
Idaho Falls scored six runs in the first frame, two in the second and another in the top of the third to go up 9-0. It (technically) didn’t need another run Monday at Ogren Park, beating Missoula 14-7 late.

Robby Rinn (via Chukars Media)

The win puts the Chukars at 16-18 on the season. The Osprey fall to 16-18. Idaho Falls has won three of its previous five.
With their offense clicking early, the Chukars never eased up during the latter innings — as the Osprey scored four runs in the final five frames to make Monday’s first of a three-game series relatively closer than the first three innings indicated.
Chukars’ designated hitter Freddy Fermin had a positive outing, going 4 for 5 for four RBIs at the plate. Robby Rinn was responsible for three of the Chukars’ 19 hits, going 3 for 6 for two RBIs at the plate.
The Osprey also found offense, garnering 12 hits, but by the time they collected double-digit hits, it was too late.
The Chukars have outscored their opponents in the past five games, 47-29. And their offense may continue to improve, winning eight of their past 11 games by five runs or more.

What’s important:

The Chukars offense was electric Monday, winning 14-7 after 19 hits. The Chukars’ offense has found their groove as of late, outscoring their opponents 47-29 in the previous five games.

Player of the game:

Freddy Fermin. Fermin paced the Chukars’ offense early by hitting 4 for 5 at the plate for four RBIs and tagging home three times.

Upnext:

The Chukars return to Ogren Park to play Missoula in game two of a three-game series Tuesday evening. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m.

Sunday’s game:

At Kindrick Legion Field, Helena beat Idaho Falls 10-5 after scoring all of its runs between innings three and six. Three Brewers’ home runs probably didn’t hurt their chances, either.
The scoring started when the Brewers’ Jay Feliciano hit a three-run dinger to Helena a 3-0 lead. Then Yerald Martinez added two more runs with a home run off Chukars’ pitcher Julio Pinto (2-5) in the bottom of the third.
The Chukars’ answered the two home runs with four runs of their own during the top of the fourth, as Tyler Straub hit in Robby Rinn off a sac fly to right field before Freddy Fermin hit a two-run home run to cut into the Brewers’ lead, 5-4.
But a three-run triple, followed by a two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth by the Brewers, downed the Chukars.
Pinto finished with the loss: four hits, five earned runs, two ome runs and six strikeouts in four innings pitched. Jeremy Gwinn had trouble, too, allowing five earned runs and eight hits in just three innings of work.
Fermin led all Chukars offensively, going 2 for 4 for three RBIs.
The loss put Idaho Falls at 15-18. Helena advanced to 15-18.

Missoula hits late home run to beat I.F. 7-5

By Luke O’Roark | Post Register | @Lukeoroark
A Francis Martinez home run changed Monday’s game completely.
Martinez smacked a Damon Olds’ pitch over Melaleuca’s center field wall, breaking a tie and giving Missoula a 7-5 win over Idaho Falls at Melaleuca Field.

Idaho Falls’ Julio Gonzales makes the throw to first base after getting the force-out on Missoula’s Dominic Miroglio at second base during Monday night’s game at Melaleuca Field. The double play ended the sixth inning.

The Osprey’s record extends to 15-13. The Chukars fall to 12-16.
“They’ve been competing all year,” Chukars manager Justin Gemoll said. “We just came up a little short tonight on one pitch.”
Before Martinez hit a home run in the top of the eighth, Monday’s back-and-forth affair saw three lead changes and the Chukars-Osprey’s offenses almost mimic the other.
Missoula had seven hits and two errors. Idaho Falls had 10 hits and two errors. The only real difference was Martinez’s home run.
“There’s a lot of good hitters, especially in this league,” Amalani Fukofuka said after Monday’s game. “The ball flies. You just got to keep playing.”
It took just two batters to get the first run of the game: Ernie De La Trinidad hit an RBI-triple to set the pace early and go up 3-0.
Logan Gray hit an RBI-triple in the bottom of the second to get the Chukars on the board. Jake Wakamatsu added a run when his right-field long ball hit the top of a Melaleuca’s back wall. The double scored Gray to cut into Missoula’s lead, 3-2.
The Chukars then took the lead with two runs in the bottom of the third, 4-3.
The Osprey responded with two runs of their own in the top of the fifth. Finally, the Chukars tied the game in the bottom of the seventh when Robby Rinn scored Fukofuka for the second time Monday. Back-and-forth the bout continued.
That was until Martinez blasted a home run over the center wall, quieting Melaleuca and giving the Osprey’s their second win of the four-game series.
The Chukars’ attempted to rally, but Abraham Almonte closed the door. He finished with one strikeout, no hits or runs allowed and a save in two innings pitched.
“I like the way they compete,” Gemoll said. “We’re striving for consistency on all three facets of the game: pitching, hitting and defense.”

What’s important:

In a back-and-forth game Monday night, Missoula hit a late home run to beat Idaho Falls.

Players of the game:

Amalani Fukofuka and Robby Rinn. Fukofuka went 2 for 3 and had two runs. Rinn went 2 for 4 and had two RBIs.

Quotable:

“The more you play, the more that happens. So, it’s not a big surprise. It’s not like it’s a playoff game. We play everyday.” — outfielder Amalani Fukofuka after being asked aboutMonday’s late home run.

Notables:

• Attendance was announced as a season-high 3,223.

• The Chukars are 1-2 when tied after the seventh inning. They are 5-11 when an opponent hits a home run.

• Fukofuka had his 11th multi-hit game this season. Rinn’s two RBIs give him 26 on the season.

Upnext:

Idaho Falls returns home Tuesday to conclude a seven-game home stand against Missoula. First pitch is at 7:15 p.m.

Sunday’s game:

The Chukars shutout the Osprey 6-0 in front of 1,412 fans at Melaleuca Field Sunday.

Julio Pinto (2-4) controlled the Ospreys, striking out 11 batters and allowing just six hits just a day after Missoula hit five home runs off the Chukars’ bullpen.

On the offensive end, Chukars’ outfielder Jonathan McCray went 2 for 4 and hit his fourth home run of the season to help Idaho Falls win its third game in five days.

Tyler Straub also went 2 for 4 and hit a 415-foot home run in the 8th inning — his third this season.

Osprey bombard Chukars with five dingers

By Luke O’Roark | Post Register | @Lukeoroark
If you missed the MLB home run derby, it’s O.K. There were plenty of home runs Saturday evening at Melaleuca Field.

Missoula bombarded Idaho Falls with five home runs en route to a 15-11 slugfest win. The win pushes the Osprey to 14-12. The Chukars fall to 11-15 on the season.

Every inning between the first and seventh frames had runs scored, until Chukars Michael Silva held off the Osprey’s hot bats.

But by the time Silva came in, the damage had already been done.

Missoula scored all of its runs between innings two through six, blasting Chukars starting pitcher David McKay for 11 earned runs and four home runs in five innings pitched.

“If you look at the scoreboard, they scored, we scored,” Hudgins said. “So we didn’t give up. We battled back.”

The Osprey worked McKay early, hitting into the left gaps twice before a Francis Martinez two RBI-double gave them a 2-0 lead in the top of the second.

Robby Rinn and Tyler Straub would respond, crossing home plate after the Chukars notched three hits in the bottom of the frame.

Joey Rose answered those runs with a dinger over center field to give the Osprey the lead, 4-2.

But then, the floodgates really opened in the top of the fourth. It began when Chukars’ Chris Hudgins committed his second error to allow an Osprey run, after Missoula stole two bases. The Opsrey then hit their second home run of the game after Keshawn Lynch blasted a 2-0 pitch off McKay to go up 8-2.

The Chukars scored three runs in the bottom of the inning, blowing the game into an offensive onslaught — seriously. Freddy Fermin hit a line drive that knocked Missoula pitcher Jimmy Johnson’s glove off his hand. He would recover and get Fermin out at first, but the Chukars were able to get three runners home (McCray, Rinn and Straub).

But the Osprey kept smashing home runs, hitting two in the bottom of the fifth.

“We put up a four-spot in the eighth inning, so we didn’t give up,” Hudgins said. “We battled back.”

Amalani Fukofuka and Jonathan McCray notched RBI to cut into Missoula’s 11-5 lead. But their efforts to negate Missoula’s hot hitting was negated.

The Chukars garnered four runs in the bottom of the eighth, but came up short in the bottom of the ninth.

What’s important:

After holding Helena in check Thursday and Friday, Idaho Falls allowed Missoula to hit five home runs Saturday night at Melalaueca Field.

Player(s) of the game:

Fermin (Via Chukars media)

Chris Hudgins, Freddy Fermin and Michael Silva. Hudgins went 3 for 5 at-bat, hitting one RBI and crossing home once. Fermin went 2 for 4 and three RBIs. Silva, one of the Chukars’ strongest relievers, struck out two batters and didn’t allow a single hit in three innings pitched.

Quotable:

“I feel like we try to do way much. Guys are going up there trying to hit 500-foot home runs sometimes and, unfortunately, that’s not how the game works. Now we’re getting them on, getting them (home) and we’re doing that well.” — catcher Chris Hudgins on how the team’s offense has improved as of late.

Notables:

– Vance Vizcaino, one of the Chukars’ best players, was called up to Lexington Saturday morning. Vizcaino batted a .287 in 22 games for the Chukars. He was second on the team for runs scored (17), fourth in hits (25), tied for second in RBIs (16) and registered a hit in eight-straight games at one point this season.

– Saturday was the first meeting this year between Idaho Falls and Missoula.

– Freddy Fermin hit a line drive in the bottom of the fourth that knocked Missoula pitcher Jimmy Johnson’s glove off his left hand. He would recover and throw Fermin out at first.

– Missoula entered Saturday’s game ranked second to last in the Pioneer League in home runs (17).

– Broken bat update: two were snapped Saturday.

Up next:

The Chukars return home Sunday to play game two of a four-game series against Missoula. First pitch is at 4 p.m.

Brewers down Chukars, 7-4, with extra base hits

By Luke O’Roark | Loroark@postregister.com | @Lukeoroark
The scoring came in spurts Wednesday, but when it did, it came in bunches.
The Brewers batters were controlled at the plate, but it was extra base hits that downed Idaho Falls at home in a 7-4 loss at Melaleuca Field. The Chukars fall to 9-14 and have lost eight of the previous 10 games. They are now 4-7 at home.
Chukars’ pitcher Robert Garcia (0-1) showed decent control on the mound: five hits allowed, four earned runs and eight strikeouts. He did allow one home run in the first inning. The Chukars are 5-9 when they allow a home run this season.

Chukars infielder Tyler Straub (18) gets ready to catch the ball while Brewers infielder Dallas Carroll (29) goes to slide to the base during a regular season game at Melaluca on Wednesday night.

But when the Brewers did make contact with Garcia’s pitches, they did damage. Six hits went for extra bases — four doubles and two triples.
“Those guys jumped on us early,” Chukars’ hitting coach Damon Hollins said. “Big three-run home run at the plate, and obviously we have to do more at the plate. We got to bear down a little bit.”
The Brewers took an early 3-0 lead after Payton Henry hit a home run off Garcia in the first inning. Dallas Carroll and KJ Harrison crossed home plate, too.
Vance Vizcaino, one of the Chukars most consistent batters, responded to the early 3-0 deficit with a two-run home run of his own. The home run was his second this season.
“Well, he’s a very smart baseball player,” Chukars manager Justin Gemoll said of Vizcaino. “He’s athletic. He can play multiple outfield positions. He can run. He can bunt. As you saw tonight, he can hit with some power.”
Up 3-2, the Brewers (12-11) then answered Vizcaino’s home run with four runs though five frames and held their lead in the bottom of the ninth in controversial fashion.


Jake Wakamatsu hit a double in the bottom of the ninth, but, per umpires Rob Headley and Tyler Johnson, forgot to tag first. He was then called out when Brewers Parker Bean lobbed the ball to first base — sending Wakamatsu to the dugout and dampening the Chukars’ attempt at a comeback.
“He said he hit the edge of the corner, but if the umpires say he missed it, there’s no replay at this level, we have to go with what they say,” Hollins said. “Obviously it sucks for us. To have him on second base with no outs in a three-run game right there, figured to have something going and to have him go back, it sucks but at the same time, you gotta make sure you’re clear on what you’re doing and (umpires), they’re human, too.”

“From my vantage point, he hit first and got to second for a double, but then their dugout starts yelling,” Gemoll said. “So it was one of the things, where, unfortunately, the umpire said he did miss the base and they called him out.”

What’s important:

Despite a stronger showing than its three-game sweep on the road to Orem, Idaho Falls’s offense couldn’t keep up with Helena’s extra-base hits.

Player (s) of the game:

Vance Vizcaino. Went 2 for 4 Wednesday including a two-run home run.

Quotable:

“These type of games at this level, it’s going to be like that. You know, you gotta find a way to bear down, pitchers got to find a way to make adjustments, and as the offense, you gotta fight. You gotta come out and compete every single pitch.” – Chukars hitting coach Damon Hollins

Notables:

– Wednesday’s attendance was announced at 3,183.

– Manager Justin Gemoll was tossed out of Wednesday’s game after arguing with umpire Tyler Johnson in the bottom of the ninth inning. Jake Wakamatsu hit a double, attempting to rally the Chukars, but was called out at first after he failed to tag first tag.

– A fire alarm went off during Wednesday’s game, causing minor turmoil. It was called a false alarm by PA announcer Javier Hernandez. The alarm then went off again.

– Infielder Dalton Griffin is listed as “suspended” according to MiLB.com. The website does not state how long he will be suspended for. Gemoll did not clarify Griffin’s suspension after Wednesday’s game.

– Amalani Fukofuka (batting a .338 on 80 at-bats) changed his walk-up song for the fourth time Wednesday. He’s played 19 games.

– The Chukars received four pitchers from the Arizona League: Holden Capps, Andrew Beckwith, Josh Mitchell and Daniel Hrbek. In exchange three were sent to AZL: Randy Acevedo, Jose De Leon and Andres Sotillet. Acevedo pitched 19 innings and had a 6.63 ERA. De Leon (1-0) had a 9.35 ERA in 8 and 2/3 innings pitched. Sotillet (0-2) had a 10.57 ERA in 15 and 1/3 innings pitched. He started four games.

Chukars infielder Offerman Collado (1) runs to second base during a regular season game against the Brewers on Wednesday night at Melaluca Field.

– Delta Dental of Idaho is partnering with the Chukars to collect canned food for the Community Food Basket of Idaho, per a press release sent to the Post Register. Fans, and those who want to partake in the food drive, can bring canned food to Melaleuca Field Thursday evening (July 13) at 6 p.m.

Upnext:

Idaho Falls will return to Melaleuca Field to play Helena to continue a seven-game homestand. First pitch Thursday is 7:15 p.m.

Raptors embarrass Chukars, 17-3

Offerman Collado

By Luke O’Roark | Post Register | @Lukeoroark
Chukars fans shook their heads and began to leave. Some in the press box laughed in disbelief.
Ogden utilized a 10-run inning to beat Idaho Falls, 17-3, Wednesday night at Melaleuca Field. The loss pushes the Chukars to 8-9. Ogden is 9-8.
The Raptors scored so many runs in the top of the fifth, the scoreboard read “0” because there was more than nine runs. Instead, Ogden scored 10 — embarrassing Idaho Falls a day after the Chukars won on July 4.
“Defense, Chukars!” one fan screamed in the top of the eighth.
“A little late for that,” another fan responded.
Despite Idaho Falls adding two runs in the bottom of the sixth, it was too late.
The Raptors had pulled away after Nick Yarnall hit a two-RBI double off a Julio Pinto (1-3) pitch to start the fifth frame. Manager Justin Gemoll pulled Pinto right after. Pinto allowed six hits, six runs and a home run in four innings pitched. He struck out eight batters.
It only got worse for Idaho Falls. Randy Acevedo surrendered six runs and six hits in 0.2 innings pitched. Ogden added eight more runs to go up 12-1. The Raptors sent 14 batters go to the plate in the top of the fifth.
Before the fifth inning, though, Wednesday’s game was relatively close.
Ogden scored first — hitting its 26th home run of the 2017 campaign (which also leads the Pioneer League) off a Pinto pitch.
Chukars’ leadoff hitter Offerman Collado answered in the third with an RBI-single.
In the third, the Raptors took a 2-1 lead. Of course, they tacked on 10 more runs in the fifth.

What’s important:

Things just didn’t go the Chukars’ way Wednesday. The Raptors’ 10 runs in the top of the fifth doomed the Chukars before 9:30 p.m.

Player (s) of the game:

Offerman Collado. The leadoff hitter brought a rare cheer Wednesday when he drove in a run during the bottom of the second. He finished 1 for 4 and an RBI.

Notables:

  • Ogden’s 19 hits was the second-most Idaho Falls allowed this season. They previously allowed 23 hits against Grand Junction on June 20.
  • The Raptors lead the Pioneer League with 26 home runs. Their 26th came off a Julio Pinto pitch in the first inning.
  • Tyler Straub suffered a possible hand injuy while sliding back to first base during a pick off in the second inning. Idaho Falls’ trainers then evaluated him at first. Straub remained in the game.
  • Wednesday’s attendance was announced at 2,553.
  • The Chukars have not won back-to-back games since June 28 and 29 (6-4 against Grand Junction, then a 9-7 wins at Orem).

Up next:

The Chukars return to Melaleuca Field to play the Raptors amidst a four-game home stand. First pitch is at 7:15 p.m.

Correction: a previous version of this story state pitching coach Jeff Suppan pulled Julio Pinto during the fifth inning. It was actually manager Justin Gemoll. The story has been updated for accuracy. 

Dozier, Caramo shine as Chukars end Rockies rally in 10-7 win

Saturday’s postgame fireworks were fitting in what turned out to be an explosive game between the Grand Junction Rockies and Idaho Falls Chukars.

The Rockies (29-39, 8-22) cut into a big Chukars lead with six runs in the top of the ninth, but Idaho Falls ended the comeback bid for a 10-7 rollercoaster win before a lively crowd of 3,351 at Melaleuca Field.

The win, combined with Orem’s 9-1 loss to Ogden, gives the Chukars (37-31, 18-12) a 21/2-game lead atop the Pioneer League South Division second-half standings.

The late-game drama didn’t completely overshadow the return of Kansas City Royals first draft pick Hunter Dozier and the performance of starting pitcher Yender Caramo.

Dozier went 4 for 5 with 3 RBIs and three runs scored in his first game back in Idaho Falls since being called up to Royals affiliate Lexington Legends earlier in August. The 21-year-old hit .327 in 15 games with the Legends, which were recently eliminated from playoff contention.

“He was the leader of this team before he left and he’s gonna continue to be the leader of this team,” Chukars manager Omar Ramirez said. “He plays hard all the time. He’s an example to the players.”

Continue reading “Dozier, Caramo shine as Chukars end Rockies rally in 10-7 win”

Chukars overcome 5-run deficit, move to first place

Chukars first baseman Cody Stubbs attempts to tag out Cesar Galvez during Wednesday's game at Melaleuca Field. Pat Sutphin / psutphin@postregister.com

Alexis Rivera had a welcoming party waiting for him in the bottom of the ninth inning Wednesday, complete with tackle hugs and spraying water as his teammates emptied the dugout.

Pinch running for Beau Maggi, Rivera trotted home with the winning run on a throwing error by Grand Junction starter Carlos Yan in the bottom of the ninth to give the Idaho Falls Chukars a 6-5 comeback win over the Rockies at Melaleuca Field.

The win, combined with Orem’s loss to Ogden, pushed the Chukars into first place in the Pioneer League’s South Division second-half standings.

The Chukars (35-30, 16-11) trailed 5-0 early before scoring five runs in the sixth and seventh innings to tie the game, setting up the bottom-of-the-ninth heroics.

“It was like a playoff atmosphere,” Chukars manager Omar Ramirez said. “I told them just the other night — every game is like a playoff game. Great comeback win.”

Continue reading “Chukars overcome 5-run deficit, move to first place”

Chukars strike out 13 times in 4-1 loss

Idaho Falls' Carlos Garcia slides into second for the steal after shortstop Matt Wessinger of the Grand Junction Rockies loses the ball during the play in the top of the first inning of Thursday's game at Suplizio field. Gretel Daugherty / Grand Junction Daily Sentinel

At Grand Junction, Colo., the Grand Junction Rockies pitching staff made the Chukars look foolish Thursday.

Not only did they rack up 13 strikeouts in a 4-1 win, but they induced countless hapless swings from Idaho Falls hitters and held the Chukars to season lows in runs (one) and hits (four).

The loss drops the Chukars to 9-9 on the season and allowed Grand Junction (9-9) to pull even with Idaho Falls in second place in the Pioneer League’s South Division.

The Chukars’ only run was controversial. Idaho Falls loaded the bases with nobody out in the top of the sixth. Designated hitter Sam Bates then struck out on three pitches and left fielder Ysmelin Alcantara appeared to ground into an inning-ending double play. Continue reading “Chukars strike out 13 times in 4-1 loss”