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Chukars release 2016 schedule

The Idaho Falls Chukars released their 2016 schedule this week.

I.F.’s first six games will be played at Melaleuca Field. The Chukars kick off the season with a two-game series against the Ogden Raptors, who are in the Pioneer League South Division with the Chukars, Orem Owlz and Grand Junction Rockies. Opening night is June 17 and first pitch is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.

The Chukars host Orem for a four-game series following Ogden. I.F. also hosts the Owlz for a two-game series Sept. 7 and 8 to end the regular season.

I.F. beat Orem in three games to advance to the 2015 Pioneer League Championship, where it lost to Missoula in three games. The Chukars’ first 2016 series against the Osprey is a four-gamer at home beginning July 16.

The second Northwest League vs. Pioneer League All Star Game will be played Aug. 2 in Ogden, Utah.

The Chukars went 38-38 last season and won the Pioneer League South second half title with a 25-13 record — their best record in a half since they became a Kansas City Royals affiliate in 2004.

The Royals clinched their first World Series title in 30 years on Sunday. They beat the New York Mets in five games. Former Chukar Salvador Perez (catcher) was named World Series MVP.

Chukars’ full 2016 schedule

June 17-18 vs Ogden
June 20-23 vs Orem
June 24-27 at Ogden
June 30-July 3 vs Grand Junction
July 4-5 vs Ogden
July 6-7 at Ogden
July 8-11 at Orem
July 12 off (MLB All-Star Game)
July 13-15 vs Helena
July 16-19 vs Missoula
July 20 off
July 21-24 at Helena
July 25-27 at Missoula (end of first half)
July 28-31 vs Grand Junction
Aug. 1 off
Aug. 2 Northwest League vs Pioneer League All-Star Game
Aug. 3 off
Aug. 4-7 at Great Falls
Aug. 8-10 at Billings
Aug. 11 off
Aug. 12-14 vs Great Falls
Aug. 15-18 vs Billings
Aug. 19 off
Aug. 20-23 at Grand Junction
Aug. 24-25 at Orem
Aug. 26-27 vs Orem
Aug. 28-31 vs Ogden
Sept. 1-4 at Ogden
Sept. 5-6 at Orem
Sept. 7-8 vs Orem

Three Chukars named All-Stars

First baseman Josh Banuelos, outfielder Amalani Fukofuka and relief pitcher Tripp Davis will represent the Idaho Falls Chukars as reserves at the first Pioneer League/Northwest League Midsummer Classic, scheduled for Aug. 4 in Spokane.

Banuelos has been a force at the plate, leading the Pioneer League with 34 RBIs. Banuelos, of Hanford, Calif., is hitting .338 with 47 hits.

Fukofuka’s name is sprinkled throughout the list of Pioneer League leaders. The Hayward, Calif., native is hitting a team-high .350, good for fourth in the league. He is second in the league with 70 total bases, tied for second with 50 hits, tied for third with 12 doubles and tied for fourth with four triples.

Davis has been a bright spot on the mound, leading the Chukars with two wins while posting a 4.05 ERA in eight appearances. He had an 0.71 ERA in his first 16.2 innings.

Alexis Rivera, who started the year in Idaho Falls, also was selected to the All-Star squad but has since been promoted to Single-A Lexington and won’t play in the game. When he left the Chukars three weeks ago, Rivera led the league in home runs (7), RBIs (17) and OPS (1.233). His home run total is still tied for third in the league.

Orem placed three players on the Pioneer League starting lineup (catcher Taylor Ward, third baseman Michael Pierson and outfielder Kyle Survance) and one more reserve. Missoula led the way with five selections.

For a full list of the All-Stars, visit

Chukars-Osprey rained out, will play doubleheader today


A late-afternoon thunderstorm and the prospects of more bad weather forced the postponement of Friday’s scheduled game between the Idaho Falls Chukars and Missoula Osprey at Ogren Park.

The teams are scheduled to make up the game as part of a doubleheader today. The first of two seven-inning games will begin at 6 p.m.

It was the third rainout of the season for the Chukars, with the other washouts coming at Melaleuca Field.

This was Idaho Falls first trip to Missoula this season.

The Chukars (29-26, 9-8) and Osprey will play single games Sunday and Monday before Idaho Falls returns to Melaleuca Field to begin a four-game series against Pioneer League South Division leader Grand Junction on Tuesday.

Brewers-Chukars rained out, will play doubleheader Wednesday

Tuesday’s constant rain canceled the Idaho Falls Chukars game against the Helena Brewers scheduled for Melaleuca Field. The teams will play a doubleheader beginning at 5 p.m. today at Melaleuca Field. Each game will be seven innings and will be the second and third contests in the Chukars’ (23-23, 3-5) four-game homestand against the Brewers (17-30, 4-5). At 5:35 p.m. Tuesday, the Chukars official Twitter account (@ifchukars) posted that fans who purchased tickets to the rained-out game could have them exchanged for vouchers to a later home game. Tuesday’s rainout was the second this season. The last time the Chukars had two games rained out in a season was 2009. Pat Sutphin /

Disastrous 7th inning dooms Chukars

Idaho Falls' Alex Marquex is tagged out by Grand Junction Rockies third baseman Ryan McMahon during Thursday's game at Melaleuca Field. The Chukars lost the game 12-2. Alex McDougall /


The Idaho Falls Chukars, who entered July 4 having scored 23 runs in their previous two games were stopped cold in the seventh inning by miscues.

Idaho Falls committed three of its seven errors and walked four batters in the frame, resulting in nine runs for the Grand Junction Rockies en route to a 12-2 loss Thursday night at Melaleuca Field.

The loss snapped Idaho Falls’ Independence Day win streak at four.

The game ended much differently than it began as the Chukars (4-11) and Rockies were tied at 2-2 and committed a combined two errors through six innings. Runs by infielders Cody Stubbs and Carlos Garcia gave Idaho Falls the 2-1 advantage after four innings before Grand Junction’s Ramiel Tapia scored the game-tying run in the sixth. Continue reading “Disastrous 7th inning dooms Chukars”

Chukars kick off summer with exhibition game

Former Idaho Falls Bandits second baseman Colben McGuire waits for the throw as former Idaho Falls Chukars Adalberto Mondesi slides into second during last year's exhibition game at Melaleuca Field. Pat Sutphin /

The Idaho Falls Chukars don’t officially start the 2013 season until Thursday. But fans can catch a sneak peek of them and the Royals’ first- and second-round picks tonight.

For the second consecutive year, the Chukars will take on the Idaho Falls Bandits, a Double-A American Legion baseball club, in an exhibition game prior to the season opener. First pitch is at 7:15 p.m. tonight at Melaleuca Field.

The exhibition serves as a fundraiser for the Idaho Falls American Legion baseball program. Melaleuca Field saw 1,264 fans attend last year’s game, which raised just over $3,000.

General admission tickets cost $5 with a box seat costing $6, both a discount from the regular season ticket prices. Full concession and beer stands will be open. And the Bandits will raffle off an autographed bat from Billy Butler, an ex-Chukar and 2012 American League All-Star. Continue reading “Chukars kick off summer with exhibition game”

Chukars hire new broadcaster

The Idaho Falls Chukars announced a new member of its radio broadcasting team Wednesday.

Chris Lewis will join John Balginy, who is entering his 29th year calling professional baseball in Idaho Falls, in the booth this summer after graduating from Syracuse University in May.

Lewis, who was ranked the fifth best College Broadcaster in America by Sportscasters Talent Agency of America, will call all of the Chukars road games and broadcast all home games with Balginy as part of a two-man crew.

“I’m extremely grateful and thankful for this opportunity with Idaho Falls,” Lewis said in a news release. “I’m excited to be a part of such a hard-working team.” Continue reading “Chukars hire new broadcaster”

Chukars resign with Royals for two more years

The Idaho Falls Chukars will remain an affiliate of the Kansas City Royals for another two years.

The Chukars and Royals announced Wednesday they have extended their player development contract through the 2014 season. And the new deal comes with a promise to improve the quality of the Idaho Falls club.

Chukars general manager Kevin Greene said he and the Royals have reached an agreement that will place Idaho Falls on top rung of the Royals’ three short-season clubs.

The Royals added a third short-season club in Burlington, N.C. in 2007. Most Major League teams field only two short-season clubs. The 2007 season was the last time the Chukars qualified for the Pioneer League playoffs, partially due to the Royals splitting talent between three short-season clubs.

“Our concern with the Royals has only been what can we do to offer our fans winning baseball?” Greene said. “Operationally, the Royals are great people to work with. There’s never been anything there that made us want to second-guess the extension. It was all about what can we do to offer our fans a winning team.” Continue reading “Chukars resign with Royals for two more years”

Orem pitching trio shuts down Chukars

Orem pitching trio Aaron Newcomb, Mark Sappington, and Michael Morin combined for a three hitter to lift the Owlz to a 4-0 win over the Idaho Falls Chukars on Saturday at Brent Brown Ballpark in the third contest of a four-game road series.

The three Owlz aces also did not walk a single batter in the win.

The Owlz, who lead the Pioneer League South Division second half season standings at 5-2, were scoreless with the Chukars until the third inning. Orem’s four runs came off just six hits, led by center fielder Joel

Capote’s 2 for 3 evening that included a double and two RBIs.

Continue reading “Orem pitching trio shuts down Chukars”