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Henry puts Chukars on Pioneer Finals brink

Royals outfield prospect clubs solo homer in semifinals opener
September 8, 2019

In his first playoff plate appearance, Isaiah Henry made an impact. 

The 20-year-old outfielder clubbed a solo shot in his fourth straight multihit game, leading Rookie Advanced Idaho Falls to a 2-0 blanking of Billings in the opening game of Pioneer League semifinals Sunday night. 

Gameday box score

In the third inning, Henry fouled off a few pitches and worked a 2-2 count off Miguel Medrano before depositing the right-hander's seventh pitch of the at-bat over the left-field fence to open the scoring.

The Chukars tacked on another run one frame later when Jimmy Govern lofted a double to right to plate Juan Carlos Negret. Henry followed with a line-drive single and Govern tried to score on the play, but left fielder TJ Hopkins relayed home and catcher Eric Yang tagged him out. 

But the risk didn't matter in the end due to the efforts of Chih-Ting Wang and Christian Cosby. The pair combined for a four-hit shutout, surrendering two apiece, and did not allow an extra-base knock. Southpaw Wang went the first four innings, striking out four and walking two. Cosby (1-0) took over in the fifth and fanned four with one walk.

Complete playoff coverage

It marked Henry's fourth consecutive two-hit outing. The 2017 14th-round pick closed out the regular season by driving in at least one run in the last three contests. He clubbed six homers in 60 games this year. 

Medrano took the loss for Billings. He was tagged with both runs on six hits and two walks through four innings. He struck out six. Quin Cotton -- an eighth-round pick by Cincinnati in this year's Draft -- collected a pair of singles. 

Game 2 of the best-of-3 series is slated for 9:15 p.m. ET on Monday at Melaleuca Field.

In other Pioneer League action:

Raptors 2, Rockies 1

Andrew Shaps was the difference maker, belting a solo home run in the top of the ninth to give Ogden the edge in the best-of-3 semifinal series. Sauryn Lao scored the team's other run on a bases-loaded walk by Jeremy Arocho. Colin Simpson accounted for Grand Junction's offense with a sixth-inning long ball. Jacob Cantleberry picked up the win after allowing a hit and a walk but fanning two in his one frame of work. Jacob Kostyshock took the loss for giving up the decisive run. Gameday box score

Katie Woo is a contributor to Follow her on Twitter @katiejwoo.