Idaho Falls, ID - After winning 13 of their first 14 games, the Idaho Falls Chukars have come back to earth, but got down big early for the first time all season. Missoula scored a whopping seven runs in the third inning and one in the fourth inning, taking a commanding 8-0 lead. The Chukars would fight back, plating five combined in the sixth and seventh innings, but it wasn't enough, as Missoula held on for the 8-5 victory. Idaho Falls still has a three game lead in the division, but has lost a season high four games in a row.
Scoreless going into the top of the third inning, Chukars starter Stephen Ridings walked Carson Maxwell to start the frame. He got to second on a wild pitch, and on a fly ball out to deep center from David Sanchez, Maxwell was able to score all the way from second. Ridings then punched out Cam Coursey for the second out, but allowed a single to Axel Andueza. Tristen Carranza got hit by a pitch, and Spencer Brickhouse walked to load the bases for Liover Peguero. Ridings worked a long at bat, but Peguero won the battle with a single up the middle, scoring two to extend the lead to 3-0.
Derrick Adams entered after that, and allowed a triple to Dom Canzone, scoring two to make it 5-0. Kevin Watson hit what should've been an inning ending ground out to second, but an error extended the inning, allowing two more runs to score. Missoula added on another run in the fourth inning, extending the lead to 8-0. The seven runs scored in the third were the most the Chukars have allowed in an inning all season.
The Chukars got three runs back in the sixth inning, with RBI coming from Clay Dungan, Michael Emodi, and Isaiah Henry. In the seventh inning, two more scored thanks to a Jose Marquez double and a Dungan ground out. In the ninth, with the score still 8-5, two walks brought the tying run to the plate, but a ground out to the closer Ryan Fritze ended the game.
Brad Bonnenfant pitched four scoreless innings out of the bullpen for Idaho Falls, helping keep Missoula off the scoreboard over the final four innings.
Tomorrow the Chukars head north to Great Falls for the first of a four game series with the Voyagers. First pitch is scheduled for 7 PM, with the pregame show hitting the airwaves of ESPN 980 The Sports Zone at 6:45.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.