The Orem Owlz continued their dominance over Idaho Falls in the first week and a half of the season, limiting the Chukars to just seven hits in a 4-1 win in front of 1,760 fans in Orem, Utah, on Wednesday night.
The Owlz have taken five of the six meetings between the teams this season, outhitting the Chukars 63-39 along the way. Those hit numbers were a little closer Wednesday, with Orem holding an 8-7 edge, but the result was the same.
Orem took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a triple by Bo Way and a sacrifice fly to left by Ryan Seiz.
Idaho Falls answered with a run of its own in the top of the third. DonAndre Clark got things started with a one-out single to center and a steal of second. After Corey Toups flied out to left, Ryan O’Hearn grounded a single to left to score Clark.
But that was it for the Idaho Falls offense.
Orem took a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the third on back-to-back doubles by Bo Way and Zach Houchins and an RBI groundout from Tyler Palmer. The Owlz padded the lead in the seventh on an RBI sac fly from Way.
One night after shutting out the Chukars, Orem pitchers were solid again. Starter Arjenis Fernandez improved to 2-0 after allowing the one earned run on six hits with no walks and two strikeouts. Tyler Carpenter pitched two shutout innings of relief, allowing just a hit and no walks, and Jacob Kopra earned his first save with a clean ninth inning.
Mike Jeffreys took the loss for I.F., giving up three earned runs on six hits and three walks while striking out two. Javier Reynoso pitched the final three innings, allowing one earned run on two hits with one walk and two strikeouts.
O’Hearn finished 2 for 4 while Wander Franco went 1 for 4 with a double in his Chukars’ debut.
Idaho Falls returns home today to begin a four-game series with Grand Junction. First pitch is scheduled for 7:15 at Melaleuca Field.
CHUKARS CHATTER: The Chukars have partnered with PacificSource Health Plans and Bill’s Bike Shop to host three Bike to the Ballpark events this summer. The events are scheduled for Saturday, July 19 and Aug. 9. The first 50 fans to check in at PacificSource at 6 p.m. on those dates and commute to Melaleuca Field will receive a free ticket and be entered into a drawing for a new bike. Children ages 5 to 13 can bike to the park early Saturday to participate in the U.S. Bank Kid’s Clinic. The event is free. Bill’s Bike Shop has provided bike racks at Melaleuca Field for fans who bike to the games.