(Billings Mustangs release)
BILLINGS – The Billings Mustangs (0-3) were unable to avoid a series sweep on Sunday, falling 7-5 in 10 innings to the Idaho Falls Chukars (3-0) in front of 3,376 on Father’s Day at Dehler Park.
Early scoring had to sustain the Chukars through the afternoon, getting five runs inside the first five innings before going quiet in the sixth through ninth. Michael Emodi hit a three-run home run in the third to highlight the early offense, giving Idaho Falls a 4-0 lead after the blast.
The Mustangs then began to chip away at the four-run deficit, scoring five of the next six runs to cross the plate.
Quin Cotton tripled in Nate Scantlin from first in the bottom of the third inning to open the scoring for the home team. Claudio Finol singled Cotton in in the very next at-bat to cut the the Chukars’ lead to 4-2.
Edwin Yon lined an RBI double in the sixth and was brought home on a Quincy McAfee single to get the Mustangs within one at 5-4. It was one of three hits for Yon on the day as he finished 3-for-5 with a double, run and two RBI.
Billings was eventually able to cap the comeback and even things in the seventh with Yon’s RBI single to score Cotton and make it a 5-5 tie.
The Mustangs’ bullpen kept them around after the early 4-0 deficit, getting solid outings from several relievers. Omar Conoropo threw three innings of relief, striking out four and giving up one run. Francis Peguero and Manuel Cachutt each threw shutout relief in their Pioneer League debuts.
After getting the winning run aboard in both the eighth and ninth innings, the Mustangs were unable to close the door on Idaho Falls and the series closer headed to extra innings.
Idaho Falls pounced immediately, bringing in the designated runner from second on a sacrifice fly and adding on a second run with an RBI double from Ismaldo Rodriguez to make it 7-5.
Billings managed to get the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th with one out, but a grounder into a double play killed their rally and completed the sweep for Idaho Falls.
The Mustangs now get an off day on Monday before beginning a three-game series at home on Tuesday, June 18, against the Great Falls Voyagers. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. MDT at Dehler Park.