By Luke O’Roark | Post Register | @Lukeoroark
Orem continues to be the antithesis of Idaho Falls.
The Owlz blanked the Chukars 3-0 Thursday night at Melaleuca Field, after the Chukars failed to score a run for the first time all season.
The loss puts Idaho Falls at 17-20. Orem advances to 25-11. The Chukars are 1-7 against the Owlz this season.
“The game of baseball is crazy,” Darrell Miller Jr. said after Thursday. “We’ve been hot with the bats, and you know, these types of games happen.”
Miller Jr. is correct: baseball can be a difficult game to predict.
A day after littering Missoula’s Ogren Park with 23 hits, Idaho Falls’ offense only registered four against Orem starter Elvin Rodriquez at Melaleuca.
And although it was a relatively clean game through nine frames, it was Orem’s stout defense that kept Idaho Falls from lighting up the scoreboard.
Pitchers Dillon Drabble and Geoffrey Bramblett kept the Chukars in it, combining for seven strikeouts, 10 runs and three earned runs. The Chukars’ defense also didn’t commit an error.
The only Chukars, though, who could garner hits against Orem’s strong command on the mound: Matt Morales, Offerman Collado, Robby Rinn and Chris Hudgins.
“Their team did a really good job of throwing strikes, especially in the corners,” Morales said. “We were a bit unaggressive tonight, rather than last night where we put a lot of hard balls into play.”
Miller Jr., who didn’t suit up for Thursday’s game, said fatigue was a big factor in the series opener.
Before Thursday, the Chukars had played seven straight on the road, the last three reaching three hours-plus. Wednesday was four hours and 17 minutes, another was three hours and 56 minutes.
Thursday’s loss went for two hours and 33 minutes.
“We’re going to go get ‘em tomorrow,” Morales said. “We should be good.”
A clean game all around, the Chukars’ offense was fatigued after playing seven on the road and three straight three hour-plus games (one was over four hours and another was three hours and 56 minutes).
Player(s) of the game:
Pitcher Dillon Drabble. Drabble finished with four strikeouts, two walked, six hits and just one earned run in 4.2 innings pitched.
“There staff did a pretty good job of locating pitchers, making pitchers. That, mixed with a little fatigue, and I think we didn’t have our best stuff today. You know, it’s the game of baseball.” – Chukars catcher Darrell Miller Jr.
– The Chukars won Wednesday night 15-12 in the longest game of the season. In four hours and 17 minutes, the Chukars registered a season-high 23 hits. The game also went extra innings (10) as the Osprey garnered 16 hits. The game finished past the Post Register’s deadline.
– Saturday will be the first game of the second half of the Pioneer League season.
– Thursday’s attendance was announced as a season-high 3,332.
Idaho Falls returns home Friday for game two of four against Orem. First pitch is at 7:15 p.m.