MISSOULA – The Idaho Falls Chukars’ record-setting start to the Pioneer League season continued at Ogren Park Allegiance Field Monday night. Idaho Falls scored a pair of 8th-inning runs to take down the hosting Missoula Osprey, 8-6.
Idaho Falls is now 13-1, the best start in franchise history. The Osprey fall to 7-9. Missoula remains in second place in the north division, but they trail the Chukars by seven games already.
The game-winning runs came on a Juan Carlos Negret sac fly and a Michael Emodi single in the top of the 8th. Missoula did advance runners to first and third with one out in the bottom of the 9th, but couldn’t score.
Missoula scored the first two runs of the game in what looked like a pitcher’s duel. Jose Reyes lined an RBI single to left in the bottom of the 2nd. New Osprey Dominic Canzone doubled to the wall in right to make it 2-0 in the bottom of the 4th.
Idaho Falls responded with a four-run burst in the top of the 5th. Emodi drilled his fifth home run of the year to left, a run scored on a wild pitch, and Brady McConnell gave the Chukars their first lead with a two run single to right.
Missoula came back in the bottom of the 6th, where Canzone came through again. In his first home game with the club, the former Ohio State Buckeye outfielder hit a two-run homer to right to tie the game, 4-4.
The teams will play the second of a three-game series at 7:05 Tuesday night in Missoula.