The Idaho Falls Chukars and Ogden Raptors left a large chunk of offense in Idaho Falls, but they played their second close game in Ogden.
A night after the Raptors won 4-3 in 10 innings, they held on for a 5-4 win on Thursday at Lindquist Field. The tight victory completed a two-game sweep for Ogden over I.F.
Chukars make it interesting
When Ogden took a 5-0 lead after four innings, three Chukars had reached base (one single, two walks). But I.F. did not go quietly.
Angelo Castellano walked, Manny Olloque reached on an error and Meibrys Viloria and Yeison Melo each hit RBI doubles in the top of the sixth, cutting the deficit to 5-3.
In the top of the ninth, Tanner Stanley scored on a two-out wild pitch to decrease the deficit to 5-4. Olloque followed that up with a single, but Viloria grounded out to second base to end the game.
This was I.F.’s seventh one-run game of the season. The Chukars are now 3-4 in those contests.
Flecha holds the fort
I.F.’s late offensive surge wouldn’t have mattered if Christian Flecha struggled.
The left-hander replaced starting pitcher Jace Vines (five earned runs, six hits, two walks, four strikeouts) in the fifth inning, and he finished the game. Flecha pitched 3.2 scoreless innings, allowed one hit and one walk and struck out three.
Flecha’s shutdown performance came four days after he gave up three earned runs in 0.2 innings against Grand Junction. His ERA dropped by 2.28 points after Thursday’s outing.
Can’t run before you walk
The Chukars mustered five hits for the second straight night after averaging 17.3 hits per game their previous four contests. But while the Chukar bats remained quiet, the plate discipline improved.
I.F. followed up a three-walk performance on Wednesday with seven free passes on Thursday. Only one player (Castellano) scored after drawing a walk, which points to I.F.’s struggles with the bat. But a patient approach can lead to better pitches, which can rescue hitters from slumps.
Player of the game
Raptors center fielder Cody Thomas
Thomas earns this honor for the second straight night. That’s because he hit a two-run home run for the second straight night, this time in the first inning. He finished 1 for 3 with a walk.
The Chukars (11-9) continue their road trip with a four-game series at Orem (13-7) starting Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.