By Post Register | Prsports@postregister.com
The Idaho Falls Chukars entered Wednesday’s game against Billings with a sweep on the line and instead took a 14-9 loss to the Mustangs at Dehler Park.
The Chukars fall to 21-26 overall and 4-5 in the second half of Pioneer League play.
As in its previous two games against Billings, Idaho Falls again got off to a quick start on Wednesday with a 5-0 lead after the top of the first. Billings matched it to end the frame knotted at 5-5. Matt Morales scored with two outs in the top of the fourth to make it 6-5 Idaho Falls, but that was the last time the Chukars would lead.
The Mustangs (22-23, 4-4 second half), capitalized on a walk, two errors, a wild pitch, a balk, a stolen base, and two hits all with two outs to score four runs in the top of the fifth inning to take a 9-6 lead. Billings scored another five unanswered runs in the next two innings before Idaho Falls got back on the scoreboard again with three runs in the top of the eighth.
After combining for 25 runs and five errors on Tuesday, the Chukars and Mustangs combined for 27 hits and seven errors on Wednesday. Five of those errors were committed by Idaho Falls.
Morales went 3 for 5 with three runs scored, Amalani Fukofuka went 2 for 5 with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored while Robby Rinn went 1 for 5 with a double, two RBIs and a run scored.
Starting pitcher Dillon Drabble took the loss, giving up seven runs (four earned) on seven hits while walking three and striking out four in 4.2 innings.
The Chukars return to Melaleuca Field on Friday for game one of three against Great Falls after a seven-game road trip to Montana. First pitch is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.