The Grand Junction Rockies and Idaho Falls Chukars, the top two hitting teams in the Pioneer League, played an old-fashioned pitchers’ duel Friday at Sam Suplizio Field.
The Rockies scored single runs in the first and sixth innings and limited the Chukars to a season-low hit total to earn a 2-0 win. Grand Junction improved to 4-1 against Idaho Falls this season.
Two nights after being held to season lows of four runs and seven hits in a loss at Ogden, the Chukars were blanked on six hits. The Chukars struck out six times and got just one runner to third base (a Kyle Pollock triple with two outs in the ninth).
The lack of offense wasted a strong night from I.F. pitchers, who allowed just one earned run on seven hits.
Starter Derek Gordon worked the first 5.2 innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits with one walk and five strikeouts. Stephen Milligan gave up two hits in 1.1 scoreless innings of relief while Tripp Davis struck out the side in the eighth.
The Chukars (3-6) and Rockies (6-3) play the second of four games at 7 tonight.
Melaleuca Field honored: Melaleuca Field earned the title Best Rookie League Ballpark in a Baseball Digest competition.
Fans voted in an 18-field March Madness-style bracket. Melaleuca Field entered as a No. 4 seed. Melaleuca took down Burlington Athletic Stadium (home of the Burlington Royals) in the fourth round and Dehler Park (home of the Billings Mustangs) in the semifinals.
In the finals, Melaleuca was the top pick of fans over Howard Johnson Field, home of the Johnson City Cardinals.
“Everyone in Idaho Falls should be proud of this competition,” Idaho Falls Chukars general manager/president Kevin Greene said in a news release. “It’s a city-owned facility, so anyone from the fans who come to the games to Melaleuca as a sponsor should take pride in this. I know I am certainly proud to come to work here every day.”
For a closer look at the competition, visit http://ballparkdigest.com/2015/06/26/best-of-the-ballparks-melaleuca-field/.