Great Falls, MT-The Voyagers left 12 men on base and finished 3-for-17 with runners in scoring position in an 8-5 loss to Idaho Falls Friday night at Centene Stadium.
With the loss, Great Falls (15-26, 0-3) has dropped eight straight at home and three in a row overall. The Voyagers are 4-12 this season against the Pioneer League South Division. The Chukars (19-23, 2-2) improved to 11-10 on the road. Idaho Falls is 10-6 against the North Division.
Idaho Falls opened the scoring with two unearned runs in the 1st. With one out, Julio Gonzalez reached on a groundball error at short. Amalani Fukofuka followed with a single to right that moved Gonzalez to third. Fukofuka then attempted to steal second and drew a throw, allowing Gonzalez to sprint home with the first run. Darrell Miller, Jr. doubled to the gap in left-center for a 2-0 lead.
Great Falls trimmed the lead to one with a single mark in the bottom of the 1st. Logan Taylor led off with a walk and moved to third on an errant pick-off attempt at first. After Tyler Frost walked, Craig Dedelow singled to center and scored Taylor. The Voyagers then took their only lead of the night with two more in the 2nd. Carlos Perez singled to start the inning. Tracy Hadley reached on a fielder's choice. Amado Nunez tied the game with a double deep to right-center. Nunez moved to third on a double up the right field line by Tate Blackman. An RBI groundout from Logan Taylor gave Great Falls a 3-2 lead.
Both teams scored runs in the 3rd. Amalani Fukofuka started a two-run rally for Idaho Falls with a bunt single. Robby Rinn singled on a line drive to left. With two outs, Freddy Fermin was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Travis Jones drew a walk that leveled the game. Tyler Straub singled to right for a 4-3 Chukars lead. In the home half, the Voyagers drew even with a single run. Anthony Villa and Justin Yurchak had back-to-back singles. Carlos Perez made it 4-4 with an RBI groundout to short.
Idaho Falls took the lead for good in the 4th. With one out, Matt Morales reached on a bunt single and later stole second. Morales scored the go-ahead run on a base hit to left by Julio Gonzalez. Amalani Fukofuka singled to center. Robby Rinn made it 6-4 with a base hit to right. Darrell Miller, Jr. brought in the final run of the inning with a sacrifice line drive to left. Anthony Villa closed the gap for Great Falls to 7-5 with an RBI double in the 6th. The Chukars plated the game's final run on a catcher's throwing error in the 8th.
Julio Pinto picked up the win on the mound for Idaho Falls. Pinto (3-5) went five innings and gave up four earned runs on nine hits with two strikeouts and three walks. Adam Panayotovich took the loss for Great Falls. Panayotovich (1-5) worked four innings and allowed seven runs (five earned) on nine hits with one strikeout and two walks. Josh Mitchell pitched the final two innings to earn his second save. Mitchell struck out two with one walk and three hits.
The Voyagers outhit the Chukars 13-to-11. Anthony Villa went 3-for-4 with one RBI and a run scored. Logan Taylor, Tyler Frost, and Carlos Perez all had two hits in defeat. For Idaho Falls, Amalani Fukofuka and Robby Rinn each had three hits. Fukofuka scored four times and stole four bases. Darrell Miller, Jr. drove in two.
The Voyagers seven-game home stand continues with game three of four against Idaho Falls Saturday night. First pitch is scheduled for 7 o'clock. For 2017 ticketing and promotional information, call 406-452-5311 or visit www.gfvoyagers.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.