The Idaho Falls Chukars got good pitching from Kris Bubic and Tyler Gray and a clutch insurance run on a Kyle Kasser RBI single in the eighth inning as the Chukars win 6-4 over the Helena Brewers on Thursday night at Melaleuca Field.
Kris Bubic got the start for Idaho Falls and allowed only one run in four innings, striking out five batters. Bubic showcased a Bugs Bunny change up and threw 35 strikes on 57 pitches.
Tyler Gray picked up his first win of his professional career, allowing three runs, one earned in a little over four innings. Gray struck out five Brewers batters, including four in a row in the seventh and eighth inning for the Chukars, when the game was 5-4.
It was key at bats for the Chukars with two outs that produced the win. Nate Eaton hit his first home run of his pro career with two outs in the third inning to give the Chukars a 3-1 lead. With two outs in the fourth inning, Tyler James hit an RBI single to drive home Kyle Kasser from second base. James then stole second base. One pitch later, James stole third and in the same at bat scored on a Blake Lallis wild pitch to make it a 5-1 game.
Helena scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning to make it a 5-4 game. The biggest at bat with two outs came in the bottom of the eighth inning when Brady Cox singled on a slow roller to third baseman Nick Egnatuk. Kyle Kasser came up to the plate. Cox advanced to second base on a wild pitch from Helena reliever Chad Whitmer. Kasser then lined a base hit to center field to drive home Cox and make it a 6-4 Chukars lead.
It was another solid game from Jose Caraballo, who went two for four with a double, a triple and a run scored. Caraballo is now six for 13 in the first three games of the series against Helena. He also has one home run and four RBI’s against Brewers pitching.
The Chukars are now 16-11 on the year and with Ogden losing 11-4 to Missoula, Idaho Falls is now only one game behind Ogden for first place in the Pioneer League’s Southern division. The final game of the four game series is Friday night at Melaleuca Field. RHP Connor Mayes (3-1, 5.21 ERA) goes for the Chukars. He will face Helena RHP Victor Castaneda (0-4, 4.34 ERA).