Chukars Lose Series Opener 9-5
By: Tyson Whiting
The Idaho Falls Chukars went 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position and committed 4 errors in a 9-5 loss to the Grand Junction in game 1 of the big 4 game series at Suplizio Field.
Idaho Falls left 10 runners on base in the loss to fall to 3.5 games behind the Grand Junction Rockies for first place in the Pioneer League Southern division. They left 8 runners on base in the first 6 innings of play, including 2 in scoring position in the first inning.
Nate Eaton went 4 for 5 with 1 run scored. Eaton finished a home run short of the cycle. Eaton is now hitting .360 for the season.
Grand Junction scored 1 run on a Javier Guevara double to right. Guevara went 3 for 4 with 3 RBI's and 2 doubles. Daniel Montano went 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored and 2 RBI's for the Rockies, who go to 17-10 in the 2nd half of the year.
The turning point in the game was the bottom of the 5th inning, where the Rockies scored 4 runs on 2 hits, 2 errors and 1 walk. Grand Junction took a 5-4 lead on a Kyle Kasser throwing error, which would have ended the inning. Montano and Gurvara followed up with back to back doubles to make it a 7-4 game.
The Rockies added 2 more to the scoreboard on a Hunter Stovall 2 run home run off Chukars reliever Domingo Pena, who struck out 7 in 3.1 innings.
The Chukars scored 1 run in the 7th inning as Angel Medina drove home Nick Hutchins on a groundout to make it a 9-5 Rockies lead, which was the final score.
Idaho Falls looks to bounce back on Sunday as LHP Rito Lugo takes the ball for the Chukars. He will be opposed by RHP Ryan Feltner for Grand Junction. 5:00 pm first pitch at Suplizio Field.
Chukars Notes: Kyle Kasser went 3 for 5 at the plate. He is now hitting .344 on the year. The Chukars outhit the Rockies 12 to 6. Idaho Falls had 5 extra base hits. Andres Martin hit his first double of the season in his 38th game of the 2018 campaign. Jose Caraballo hit a 5th inning solo home run, his 5th of the season. Jonathan Heasley was not helped out by his defense. He allowed 7 runs but only 2 were earned. There was a controversial earned run in the 2nd inning, where Javier Guevara was credited with a double on a ball that clanked off Caraballo's glove in right. There were 4 errors made behind Heasley and a good case could be made for a 5th in the 2nd inning on that Guevara hit. Heasley walked 2 and struck out 4 in his outing. Domingo Pena struck out 7 batters in 3.1 innings. That's the most strikeouts by Pena this year. His previous high was 4 (4 times). The 1-3 hitters in the Chukars lineup combined for 9 of the 12 hits in the game. Tyler James missed his 8th straight game due to injury. He is currently listed as day to day. Time of game: 2:52. Attendance was 2,148.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.