The Idaho Falls Chukars wasted no time flipping the script on the Orem Owlz, routing the Pioneer League South Division leaders 12-5 before 2,629 fans Friday at Melaleuca Field.
Everything that seemed to go wrong for the Chukars (7-6 second half) in their 11-3 loss Thursday was reversed Friday as Idaho Falls racked up 11 RBIs with seven Chukars recording at least one hit. Four of those hits came at either a full count or with the bases loaded.
“We beat a good team tonight,” Chukars manager Omar Ramirez said. “The hitters did a great job looking for great pitches. That’s one thing we talk about. We did a good job getting in scoring position.”
The Chukars had an answer for everything the Owlz (9-4 second half) put forth Friday.
When Orem first baseman Wade Hinkle put the Owlz on the board with a solo homer to deep right in the top of the first, the Chukars piled on four runs in the next frame.
Jin-Ho Shin cranked a bases-loaded infield single to left to score Ethan Chapman.
Two batters later, Nick DelGuidice knocked a bases loaded, two-out double to deep left to score Adalberto
Mondesi, Nick Cuckovich and Shin for three of his eventual four RBIs Friday. The designated hitter finished 3 for 4.
“I just felt comfortable,” DelGuidice said. “One night, I can’t hit a pitch to save my life. You go day by day. You’ve just got to be comfortable.”
A performance like Friday’s was one the Chukars staff knew was a long time coming for DelGuidice. He is now a critical part of the lineup thanks to his progression throughout the season.
“He wasn’t playing that much in the beginning,” Ramirez said. “Now he’s making me put him in the lineup. He’ll be here tomorrow, too. He
deserved that. He gives us a big help.”
The hitting trend DelGuidice started Friday reached its pinnacle
after the third and fourth innings, when Idaho Falls added six runs to take a 10-1 lead.
The Chukars’ defense was tested soon after, however. The Owlz cut that lead in half with four runs of their own in the fifth, including a three-run homer by Joel Capote.
That would be the last time the Owlz would score, however, as the Chukars locked down for the final four innings, causing Orem to leave four men on base.
Cuckovich went 1 for 2 with a triple and three RBIs for Idaho Falls while Diego
Goris went 2 for 4 with a two-out RBI.
Twin Falls native Zeb Sneed started on the mound for the Chukars,
walking two and striking out four over five innings to improve his record to 2-1.
The win puts the Chukars two games behind the Owlz (9-4 second half).
The Chukars and Owlz face off for the third and final game of the series tonight with first pitch scheduled for 7:15.
Owlz at Chukars, 7:15 tonight / 980 AM