MISSOULA – The Idaho Falls Chukars moved back into first place in the Pioneer League north division. But it wasn’t easy.
The Chukars clipped the Missoula Osprey 6-4 in 10 innings to break the tie atop the standings with only two days left in the first half of the season. The winner of the first half in the Pioneer League secures a playoff spot. Missoula will need to win the finale of the three-game series on Wednesday to stay alive in the race.
Idaho Falls jumped to a quick lead on a three-run home run by Michael Emodi in the top of the first, his seventh deep fly of the season. Missoula climbed back to even, starting with Cam Coursey’s first career professional home run in the bottom of the third. A Spencer Brickhouse double and a Dominic Canzone single in the fourth tied the game 3-3. The scoreboard stayed there all the way into extra innings.
With a runner starting on second due to minor league rules, Emodi immediately drove in another run with a leadoff single in the 10th. Juan Carlos Negret and Ismaldo Rodriguez added solo home runs to push the lead to 6-3.
The Osprey brought in their opening runner on a groundout to cut the lead to 6-4. Missoula put two runners on, but Tristen Carranza struck out to end the game.