After 616 days without baseball in Idaho Falls, the Chukars began their defense of their Pioneer League Championships with a 17-11 win over the Billings Mustangs on Saturday night. The night’s festivities began with the raising of the 2019 Pioneer Championship Banner at the stadium. The Chukars also honored longtime
After 616 days without baseball in Idaho Falls, the Chukars began their defense of their Pioneer League Championships with a 17-11 win over the Billings Mustangs on Saturday night. The night’s festivities began with the raising of the 2019 Pioneer Championship Banner at the stadium. The Chukars also honored longtime President and General Manager Kevin Greene with induction in the Idaho Falls Chukars Hall of Fame before the game.
Playing in front of a crowd of 2,784 at Melaleuca Field, the Chukars jumped out to an early 10-0 lead after two innings, chasing Mustangs starter Alex Smith before he could even record an out in the first. RBI singles from Matt Feinstein, Daniel Martins-Molinari and Alexis Monge started the deluge of runs, with help from three Billings errors.
Chukars Opening Night starter Austin Dubsky pitched effectively through 4+ innings, allowing two runs and striking out five before being replaced in the fifth inning. The Mustangs were able to rally in Dubsky’s absence, scoring six times in the fifth inning off of Jon Nunnally, who came out of the bullpen.
The Chukars were able to quickly respond in the bottom of the fifth. With the score 10-8, Matt Feinstein hit a 2-run home run to centerfield for Idaho Falls’ first home run of the season. Over the final four frames, Chukars pitching was able to fend off the Mustangs, taking the game by the final score of 17-11.
· Victor Rodriguez earned the win out of the bullpen, going 1.1 innings, allowing only one hit and no runs while striking out two. Since Chukars starter Austin Dubsky did not pitch the required five innings to be eligible for the win, Rodriguez got the win via the scorer’s decision.
· In the first inning, Chukars 3B Webb Little successfully appealed a called swinging strike on a check swing by the home plate umpire. His appeal to the third base umpire and the successful overturn of the check swing is the first occurrence of this rule in professional baseball history.
· The Chukars will play a double header on Monday with the first game starting at 4:30 pm. against the Mustangs. Sunday’s game was postponed due to inclement weather and poor field conditions. Eric Brodkowitz will start the first game for the Chukars.
· All Pioneer League games and their box scores can be found on Pointstreak.com this year. For a final box score for this game, please use this link: http://pointstreak.com/baseball/boxscore.html?gameid=555587