Ogden, UT - Having not won a game against Ogden in 2019, the Chukars broke out the big bats against the Raptors on a hot Saturday night at Lindquist Field. Behind six combined RBI from Michael Emodi & Kember Nacero, the Chukars survived three homers from Ogden's Brandon Lewis, holding on for a 9-8 victory.
The Chukars took advantage of some Ogden defensive miscues to open up the scoring in the third. With one out, Ismaldo Rodriguez reached on an infield single, and the throw to first sailed wide, allowing Rodriguez to take second. Kember Nacero stepped in next and grounded a ball to short that Zac Ching booted into the outfield, scoring Rodriguez to put Idaho Falls up 1-0.
However, the lead did not last long. In the third inning, Ramon Rodriguez started the frame with a single, and Andy Pages walked two batters later. Ryan Ward stepped in and tied the game with a double, and Brandon Lewis then followed with a three run homer to give Ogden a 4-1 lead.
Idaho Falls matched Ogden's big inning with one of their own in the fifth. With two out and nobody on base, Nacero singled, and Jose Marquez then followed with a single of his own. Brady McConnell and Clay Dungan then ripped consecutive RBI singles to cut it to a one run game, ending the night for starter Antonio Hernandez. Drew Finley came in to face Emodi, who launched a three run homer to deep left field to put the Chukars in front 6-4.
Lewis though came back in the bottom of the fifth inning and with a runner on launched his second homer of the game, tying the game at six. In the top of the sixth inning, Idaho Falls got the lead right back, as with two out and one on, Nacero launched a blast to right, the first of his career, to put Idaho Falls in front 8-6.
Ogden got a run back in the bottom of the sixth inning to cut the lead to one, but Jose Ramirez stranded the tying run at third to end the inning. In the ninth inning, Emodi stepped in with two out and tripled off the left center field wall, scoring Marquez from second to extend the lead to two. That insurance run was critical, as Lewis blasted a solo shot with one out in the ninth to cut the lead to one. Austin Manning though got the last two to end the game and give the Chukars the one run win. All eight runs batted in for Idaho Falls came with two out.
Tomorrow the Chukars look to earn the series split as Cole Watts takes the hill. First pitch is scheduled for 4 PM, and you can listen to the broadcast on ESPN 980 The Sports Zone beginning at 3:45 PM.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.