Chukars win 6-4, credit great pitching and timely hitting

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IDAHO FALLS — 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 8th 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 1 run in 4 innings, striking out 5. Bubic showcased a Bugs Bunny changeup and threw 35 strikes on 57 pitches.

Tyler Gray picked up his first win of his professional career, allowing 3 runs, 1 earned in 4.2 innings. Gray struck out 5 Brewers batters, including 4 in a row in the 7th and 8th inning for the Chukars, when the game was 5-4.

It was key at bats for the Chukars with 2 outs that produced the win. Nate Eaton hit his first home run of his pro career with 2 outs in the 3rd inning to give the Chukars a 3-1 lead. With 2 outs in the 4th inning, Tyler James hit an RBI single to drive home Kyle Kasser from 2nd base. James then stole 2nd base. 1 pitch later he stole 3rd and in the same at bat scored on a Blake Lallis wild pitch to make it a 5-1 game.

Helena scored 3 runs in the top of the 7th inning to make it a 5-4 game. The biggest at bat with 2 out came in the bottom of the 8th inning when Brady Cox singled on a slow roller to 3rd baseman Nick Egnatuk. Kyle Kasser came up to the plate. Cox advanced to 2nd 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 2 for 4 with a double, a triple and a run scored. Caraballo is now 6 for 13 in the first 3 games of the series against Helena. He also has 1 home run and 4 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 1 game behind Ogden for first place in the Pioneer League’s Southern division. The final game of the 4 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).