All season long Ricky Aracena has shown flashes of the ability that enticed the Kansas City Royals to sign him to a big bonus in 2014 out of the Dominican Republic.
Not until Tuesday night in Orem did Aracena put his tools together and carry his team.
The Idaho Falls Chukars' 18-year-old shortstop went 3-for-3 and walked twice, driving in three runs and scoring once, to lead the Chukars to a 6-5 win over the Orem Owlz in their final road game of the season.
Aracena helped the Chukars get on the board in the first inning, when Nick Heath reached on an error and stole second base, advanced to third on Aracena's first hit and scored on Meibrys Viloria's sacrifice fly.
After Orem tied the game in the second, Aracena ripped a two-out line drive single to left-center to plate Rudy Martin and give Idaho Falls the lead again in the third.
The visitors' advantage increased to 4-1 when Aracena, with runners on second and third in the fifth, lined a double over the left fielder to plate both runners.
Orem picked up another run in the sixth, after Idaho Falls scored their fifth run in the top half of the inning. But Aracena drew a leadoff walk in the seventh, and after an error and a fielder's choice Joe Dudek grounded through the right side to plate the run and make it 6-2.
The extra run was crucial, as Christian Flecha, who had pitched a scoreless seventh, allowed a single, double and home run in the eighth to bring Orem within a run. Flecha ended the inning with the lead intact and pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to finish off his first save of the year.
Alex Luna bounced back from a poor start against Ogden with six innings of seven-hit ball, allowing two runs and striking out four for his fifth win of the year.
The Chukars now head back to Melaleuca Field for their final two games of the season, both against the Owlz.
Wednesday, September 7th, will be Breast Cancer Awareness night courtesy of Teton Radiology. Free T-shirts designed by Artcore Visual Studio will be given to the first 500 women, and the Chukars will be wearing special breast cancer awareness jerseys that will be auctioned off after the game. The night is presented by Post Register, KLCE 97, Fox-5 and Idaho Falls Magazine.
If you can't come to the game, make sure to listen to John Balginy and Andrew Haynes on the call on ESPN 980 AM (and the TuneIn app), 105.1 FM and 94.5 FM.
For tickets and other information, call (208) 522-8363, follow the Chukars on Facebook or Twitter (@ifchukars) or visit www.ifchukars.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.