Considering they were out-hit 49-27 over the four-game series, the Idaho Falls Chukars should feel fortunate to have snuck out one win against the Orem Owlz, following Thursday’s 10-7 loss at Melaleuca Field.
At least that’s how Chukars hitting coach Damon Hollins sees it.
“Most of our guys are coming from college and we have to get these guys used to swinging woods, used to the pitching of the league and stay positive,” Hollins said “We’ve just got to come out and stay fastball ready. We have a lot of line-drive hitters, and we need to take it day-by-day and pitch-by-pitch and make adjustments.”
The Chukars scored a 5-3 win over the Owlz on Wednesday in the third of a four-game set against the Owlz before Thursday’s loss.
The loss sends the Chukars on the road at 1-3 entering an eight-day trip, beginning tonight at Grand Junction, Colo.
Idaho Falls jumped out early with a three-run, first-inning homer by Samir “el Nino” Duenez, who drove home teammates Corey Toups and Jecksson Flores.
The homer came on a 1-0 pitch, and was the first of the season for Idaho Falls, giving Duenez five RBIs over his first four games.
“He threw me the change-up down on the first pitch, and with runners on base, I knew the fastball was coming,” Duenez said. “I was waiting for a nice fastball to help the team, and I got it.”
The Owlz responded to the three-run shot by batting around in the second inning, the most damaging shot coming off the bat of Orem center fielder Bo Way with the bases loaded.
Way, after watching a 2-2 curveball darting down and away, hit one right back where it was pitched right at Javier Reynoso — a single that knocked the mitt off Reynoso’s right hand and drove home two.
With the Chukars trailing 10-6 with two outs and a runner on in the top of the eighth, Idaho Falls center fielder Daniel Henry charged to his right and stretched out to make a spectacular catch to rob Eason Spivey of a sure RBI double and end the inning
Henry was temporarily unavailable for comment, but his teammate, fellow outfielder and roommate Jerrell Allen, had plenty to say about the catch.
“Daniel is one of the fastest guys in the organization, and whenever there’s a ball anywhere in the air he has a chance to catch it,” Allen said. “When he caught it, it was routine to me. Definitely a class act with that catch there, but I can’t say too much, just to make sure to keep him humble out there.”
Idaho Falls will play again tonight at Grand Junction in a game scheduled to begin at 7:05 p.m. The Chukars will be back in town again Thursday when they host Grand Junction for four games.