Idaho Falls, ID - Looking to finish off the homestand on the right foot, the Chukars put on a show in front of a near sell out crowd at Melaleuca Field on a hot Saturday night. Losing a one run lead in the top of the ninth inning, the Chukars came back and won the game in the bottom of the tenth inning on an infield single from Michael Emodi, edging out the Billings Mustangs 3-2. The Chukars are now 5-0 in extra innings, with four of those wins coming against Billings.
Billings power bats picked up where they left off last night, as with two out and nobody on, Matt Lloyd hit a solo homer to dead center field to put the Mustangs up 1-0.
The Chukars though punched back right away in the bottom of the first. Brady McConnell with one out launched a bomb to center, tying the game at one. Clay Dungan then walked, and two batters later Rhett Aplin then followed with a single that moved Dungan to third. Juan Carlos Negret then delivered the scoring blow, singling into left field and scoring Dungan to give the Chukars the lead.
Chukars starter Grant Gambrell didn't allow a run in his final two innings, and exited in favor of Christian Cosby to start the fourth inning. Cosby allowed pair of one out singles and a walk to load the bases in the fourth inning, but got a huge assist from his defense. Quincy McAfee flew out to center for the second out, and the runner at third Edwin Yon tried to tag up and score. Center fielder Isaiah Henry fired a dart home and catcher Michael Emodi tagged out Yon to end the inning. Billings manager Bryan LaHair, thinking Emodi blocked the plate, went out to argue and was eventually ejected by home plate umpire Hector Cuellar.
In the sixth inning with the score still 2-1 Cosby allowed back to back singles to start the inning, but got the next three to end the frame. McAfee doubled against Cosby leading off the seventh, but Cosby retired the next three to leave the tying run at second. Cosby exited after four scoreless innings, walking one and striking out five.
However, Billings tied the game in the ninth, as Leonardo Seminati led off the inning with a homer against Chih-Ting Wang. Billings didn't score another run in the inning and the Chukars went down in order, sending the game to extras.
Quin Cotton started as the placed runner at second in the top of the tenth, and got to third on a ground out from T.J. Hopkins. With the infield in, Lloyd hit a ground ball to first that Aplin snow coned and fired home to get Cotton. Reliever Joe Lienhard then got Eric Yang to ground out, keeping the game tied going into the bottom of the tenth.
With McConnell as the placed runner at second, Dungan reached on an infield single that moved McConnell to third. That brought up Emodi, who hit a high chopper to the left side that scooted past Seminati, plating McConnell to give the Chukars the win.
The Chukars will have the next four days off for the All Star break before resuming the second half on Thursday at Lindquist Field in Ogden.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.