Olloque, Ebert Power Series Win
The question, with the wind blowing straight out at Melaleuca Field, was how many home runs would be hit in the finale of the four-game set between Grand Junction and Idaho Falls.
The answer? Six. The benefactor of the majority of those shots? The Idaho Falls Chukars.
The home squad went back-to-back twice in the game, with Manny Olloque collecting one in each pair, to earn a 9-6 comeback win and take three games in the set.
Idaho Falls started swinging in the bottom of the first, as Olloque and Yeison Melo hit consecutive solo shots with two out.
The Rockies tied the game in the third on a Vince Fernandez blast, and Tyler Bugner’s inside-the-park sprint put Grand Junction up in the fourth, 4-2.
The Chukars were continually putting men on base in the early innings, but it was in the fifth where they broke through again.
With two out and two on, Melo lined a double into the left-field corner to plate Rudy Martin. Joe Dudek stepped up next and lined his second run-scoring single in two days. Jordan Ebert and Melo both scored to tie the game and give the Chukars the lead. Dudek was later brought around on a Nick Heath single through the right side.
Grand Junction pulled within one with a two-out run in the sixth, but that was as close as they would get for the rest of the game.
In the bottom half of the sixth inning with two out and the bases empty, Martin doubled to center. The throw bounced away from the cutoff man and Martin sped for third base, where Colton Welker had picked up the ball and was waiting for the tag. Martin’s dive into the bag knocked the ball out, however, to keep the inning alive.
Ebert, after three singles, put a charge into a 2-2 pitch and sent it over the wall in left field for his first professional home run. Olloque followed with his second round tripper of the game to make it 9-5. Grand Junction added a late run for the final tally.
Reinaldo Cepin earned his first win of the season with two-plus innings of relief.
The entire Pioneer League will take the next three days off as its All-Stars play against the Northwest League All-Stars in Ogden on Tuesday.
Idaho Falls is back in action Thursday, August 4, at Great Falls. The Chukars play four against the Voyagers and three in Billings before returning home Friday, August 12, to face Great Falls at 7:15. That night the first 750 fans will receive a free Chukars aluminum bottle courtesy of Snake River Rapid Wash. It’s also Eagle Rock Specialties Night, all presented by Post Register, The Rock, River Country and Fox-5.
Make sure to listen to Andrew Haynes on the call of road games on ESPN 980 AM (and the TuneIn app), 105.1 FM and 94.5 FM.
For tickets and other information, call (208) 522-8363, follow the Chukars on Facebook or Twitter (@ifchukars) or visit www.ifchukars.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.