Chukars Win 3 of 4 vs Billings
By: Tyson Whiting
The Idaho Falls Chukars got an RBI double from Hunter Strong in the bottom of the 8th inning to break the 1-1 tie as the Chukars win 2-1 on Thursday night to take 3 of 4 games in the series vs the Billings Mustangs.
Pitching dominated the first 7 innings of the game. Connor Mayes got the start for the Chukars and pitched 6 shutout innings, allowing 7 hits, 0 walks and struck out 5. On the opposite side, Billings starter Ricky Salinas allowed only 2 hits in 6.1 innings, striking out 9 and not walking any batters.
Salinas gave up 1 run and that was on a Reed Rohlman solo home run in the 2nd inning. It's Rohlman's 6th blast of the season, tying him with Nick Hutchins for the team lead.
Chukars led 1-0 going to the 8th inning when Jaret Hellinger allowed a game tying solo home run with 2 outs to Mariel Bautista. It was the first game for Bautista in the series and he went 3 for 4 with a run scored.
Idaho Falls responded to take the lead in the bottom of the 8th. Nick Hutchins led off the inning with a single off Moises Nova. Hutchins scored all the way from first on a Hunter Strong RBI double. Strong was thrown out at 3rd trying to stretch it into a triple.
In the top of the 9th inning, Hellinger allowed a leadoff single to Drew Mount. The Chukars went to the bullpen for Daniel James. The first pitch James threw turned into a 5-4-3 double play off the bat of Dylan Harris. James got the next batter, Juan Martinez to groundout to 2nd baseman Kyle Kasser to end the game.
The Chukars go to 34-29 on the year and are 2.5 games behind the Grand Junction Rockies for first place in the Southern division. Upcoming is a huge 6 game road trip for the Chukars. They play 4 games in Grand Junction August 25-28, followed up by 2 games at Ogden from August 29-30.
The first game in Grand Junction is Saturday, August 25th. 7:30 pm first pitch. The Chukars are 7-5 against the Rockies this season.
Chukars notes: That's the first time since June 18th where Connor Mayes pitched a shutout. Mayes worked 6 shutout innings on June 18th. It's also the first time since June 18th that Mayes didn't walk any batters. The Chukars were outhit 9-4 in the game. The Chukars are now 5-21 this year when they are outhit by the opposition. Chukars won 4 of the 7 games in the homestand. They are now 17-14 at home on the year. Chukars are 15-15 on the road. It was the final game against Northern division opponents. Chukars finished up 15-13 against the Montana teams. The Chukars join the Northern Division for the 2019 season. Time of game: 2:25. Attendance: 2,799.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.