Chukars Have won 9 of 12
By: Tyson Whiting
A clutch 2 out 2 run single from Offerman Collado in the bottom of the 6th inning proves to be the winning runs as the Idaho Falls Chukars won 4-2 on Labor Day in the Series opener at Melaleuca Field.
Both teams scored 2 runs in the 2nd inning. Ogden scored 2 runs on a home run by Niko Hulsizer, his 9th of the season to give the Ogden Raptors a 2-0 lead. Idaho Falls responded for 2 runs in the bottom half. Hunter Strong hit an RBI double to score Nick Hutchins. The 2nd run was scored on a Rubendy Jaquez single to center.
Pitching dominated the rest of the game. Kris Bubic went 5 innings, allowing 4 hits, 2 runs, 4 walks and 7 strikeouts. He has struck out 42 batters in his last 6 games for the Chukars. Ogden starter Joel Inoa went 5 innings, allowing 7 hits, 2 runs, 1 walks and 4 strikeouts.
The Chukars got the bases loaded in the bottom of the 6th inning against Orlandy Navarro. Collado hit a 2 run single to left field to make it a 4-2 game.
After that, it was the Tyler Gray show for the Chukars. He got the win to go to 3-2 on the year. T-Gray allowed only 1 hit in 4 shutout innings, allowing 3 walks and striking out 3.
With Grand Junction beating Orem on Monday, the Rockies maintain a 1 game lead over the Chukars for a postseason bid with 3 games left. Game 2 of the crucial 4 game series is Tuesday night at Melaleuca Field. 7:15 pm first pitch. CJ Eldred gets the start for Idaho Falls. He is 6-2 on the year. He will be opposed by Raptors RHP Brett de Geus.
Chukars notes: Coco Montes was named Pioneer League MVP, winning the award over the Chukars Nate Eaton. Eaton was selected to the 2018 Pioneer League Postseason All-Star team as the third baseman. Eaton is batting .351 average with 5 home runs and 47 RBI's. Eaton leads the league with 12 triples. JC Cloney won Pioneer League Pitcher of the Year. Cloney was 9-0 W-L with a 1.93 ERA. He struck out 50 and had a 1.05 WHIP. All 4 of the Chukars runs were scored with 2 outs. Kyle Kasser and Rubendy Jaquez each had 2 hits in the game. The Chukars went 3 for 6 with runners in scoring position. Bubba Starling left the game in the first inning after being hit in the hand with a pitch. To add insult to injury, Starling swung on the pitch and was called out on the play. Andres Martin replaced him in center field. The law-firm of Bubic and Gray combined for 10 strikeouts. Time of game: 2:44. Attendance was 2,408.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.