Idaho Falls, ID-The Voyagers posted a season-low three base hits in a 6-3 series-opening loss to the Idaho Falls Chukars Friday night at Melaleuca Field.
With the loss, Great Falls (19-28, 4-5) is now 2-3 against the Chukars this season and 7-15 on the road. The Voyagers are 8-14 against the Pioneer League South Division. Idaho Falls (22-26, 5-5) improved to 9-13 at home and is 13-9 against the North.
The Chukars started the scoring with a single mark in the 2nd. Travis Jones led off the inning with a triple to the right field corner. Jones later scored on a wild pitch.
The Voyagers tied the game with a run in the 6th. Anthony Villa reached on a one-out walk and then scored on a two-out triple lined into right by Tate Blackman.
Idaho Falls quickly answered with a three-run bottom of the 6th. Amalani Fukofuka led off with a single to center. Fukofuka moved to second on a stolen base and later to third on a wild pitch. With one out and the infield in, Travis Jones hit a hard grounder to short. Fukofuka broke for home but was caught in a rundown. After one turn back to third, Fukofuka raced to the plate and scored the go-ahead run as he dislodged the ball from the pitcher's glove. An RBI triple by Brewer Hicklen made it 3-1. A sacrifice fly to left off the bat of Freddy Fermin scored the final run of the inning.
Great Falls drew closer with a two-spot in the 7th. Max Dutto coaxed a one-out walk. Nolan Brown reached with a two-out walk. Craig Dedelow drove both runners home with a double to the gap in right-center and it was 4-3 Chukars. Idaho Falls plated two insurance runs in the 8th for the game's final margin.
Garrett Harris picked up the win for the Chukars. Harris (2-0) worked two-and-a-third in relief and gave up two earned runs on one hit with three strikeouts and two walks. Chris Comito took the loss for the Voyagers despite his fourth quality start of the season. Comito (2-5) lasted six innings and allowed four runs (two earned) on eight hits with six strikeouts and no walks. Josh Mitchell earned his fourth save of the season with one strikeout.
Idaho Falls outhit Great Falls 9-to-3. Amalani Fukofuka went 2-for-3 with two stolen bases and two runs scored. Travis Jones had two hits with two runs. Freddy Fermin had two RBIs. The Chukars stole five bases in the win.
The Voyagers play game two of three at Idaho Falls Saturday night. First pitch is scheduled for 7:15. After a four-game series at Ogden next week, Great Falls returns home August 18th to face Helena. 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.