(Mustangs media release)
BILLINGS – The Billings Mustangs (13-5, 28-28) were shut out for the second time in three nights by the Idaho Falls Chukars (9-9, 30-26), 6-0 in front of 2,463 Wednesday night at Dehler Park.
The game began with an early pitcher’s duel, seeing scoreless baseball on both sides into the fifth inning. James Marinan went two and two-thirds innings of shutout baseball in the start. He would strike out two, allowing four hits.
Kris Bubic (2-1) tied his season-high with 10 strikeouts on the other side for the Chukars in five shutout innings. The lefty out of Stanford allowed just two hits and struck out six of the last eight batters he saw.
The Mustangs got their first of just three hits on the night from Carlos Rivero’s bunt single in the third. After Zeek White was walked, they had two men aboard with just one out, but were unable to convert on their best opportunity of the evening.
Idaho Falls struck for two runs on two hits in the sixth to open the scoring. Reid Rohlman and Jose Caraballo hit back-to-back doubles for the first run before Caraballo scored after two wild pitch advancements. Rohlman and Caraballo are tied for the Pioneer League lead with 20 doubles each.
That advantage was extended to 3-0 off Nate Eaton’s RBI single in the seventh. Eaton went 2-for-4 with a walk, RBI and a steal.
Jay Schuyler and Bren Spillane would also come up with hits in the game for Billings. Schuyler lined a single to left off Bubic for the second and final hit he allowed. Spillane doubled to lead off the seventh and was stranded at second after three consecutive outs to follow him.
Tyler Gray threw four innings of relief for his second save of the season, striking out six batters of his own. He and Bubic combined to fan 16, the most strikeouts the Mustangs have suffered in a game this season.
The Chukars put the game away with three insurances runs on four hits in the ninth, all of which scored with two outs.
It was just the second home series the Mustangs have lost this season and the first since June.
The Mustangs now take off on a seven-game road trip beginning Friday in Ogden against the Raptors. First pitch from Lindquist Field is set for 7:00 p.m.