Printed on: August 08, 2012

No rest for the weary

By Marlowe Hereford
mhereford@postregister.com

It took the Idaho Falls Chukars 15 innings to slip past the Ogden Raptors on Monday. It took them just over two hours to top the Raptors less than 18 hours later.

Sam Selman and Andrew Stueve combined to strike out 16 hitters and the Idaho Falls Chukars scored seven times in the first two innings while rolling to a 7-1 win over the Raptors in front of 3,003 fans Tuesday at Melaleuca Field.

Selman (5-0) allowed just one hit in five innings, walking two and striking out 11 while lowering his ERA to 1.31.

"The fastball's working really well," Selman said. "My changeup is working really well. It really helps when you score seven runs in the first two innings. It was a big help from the offensive standpoint."

Stueve picked up where Selman left off to help the Chukars' effort, limiting the Raptors to three hits and one walk in four innings.

The Chukars (6-4 second half) changed their game-day schedule to recover from Monday's 15-inning win. Chukars manager Omar Ramirez allowed the players to arrive later in the day and said the more restful preparation contributed to the win less than 24 hours after one of the longest games he has been a part of.

"The longest were in the Dominican Republic winter league," Ramirez said. "Both went 16 innings. Good thing we won both of those. Last night we won, too, so I'm three for three. I gave the guys a little bit of rest. I feel like they responded."

Selman said the mental preparation was the same, however, especially facing the Raptors (4-6) again. Finishing Tuesday's game in nine innings was also a bonus.

"It's a lot better than getting done at midnight," Selman said with a laugh. "It's all about executing pitches and getting done as fast as possible. We were using the same game plan."

The Chukars hitters backed up Selman and Stueve with seven runs in the first two innings. Doubles by Elier Hernandez, Nick Cuckovich and Jin-Ho Shin drove in the Chukars' three runs in the first inning. The same three players delivered in the bottom of the second inning as well. Hernandez cranked a double to right center to score Adrian Martinez and Ethan Chapman. In the next two at-bats, Cuckovich's single drove in Carlos Garcia and Shin's double scored Hernandez.

Six Chukars registered at least one hit, led by Chapman's and Shin's 2 for 4 performances.

The victory moves Idaho Falls into second place in the Pioneer League South Division second-half standings. The Chukars are one game behind the Orem Owlz, who travel to Idaho Falls to begin a three-game series Thursday.

MONDAY'S RECAP: Monday's marathon matchup between the Chukars and the Raptors ended with a walk-off walk by Adrian Martinez to score Adalberto Mondesi and lift Idaho Falls to a 6-5 win after 15 innings.

The score had been tied 5-5 for two hours and the entire contest lasted four hours, 32 minutes, the longest Pioneer League contest this season.

Matt Strahm earned the win in relief, pitching four scoreless innings. Strahm gave up three hits and two walks while striking out four.

Starter Ali Williams pitched another strong game, allowing three runs (one earned) on four hits over five innings. He walked two and struck out six.

Rainier Bello led the I.F. offense, going 1 for 6 with two runs scored and an RBI. Mondesi, Elier Hernandez and Nick DelGuidice each had two hits for the Chukars.

Up next

Raptors at Chukars, 7:15 tonight / 980 AM