MISSOULA — The Missoula Osprey have been battling the Idaho Falls Chukars for the first-place spot and rights as the first-half title-holders for the past three nights. On Wednesday night, one team would claim the title with a win in the rubber match.
Idaho Falls got a runner on to start the game before Missoula short stop Liover Peguero turned a magnificent double play. But that wouldn’t help much as Juan Carlos Negret went deep that same inning to make it 3-0 early.
Idaho Falls kept the bats coming as they tacked on another three runs from Negret’s second homer of the game.
On the defensive side, the Chukars weren’t too shabby, either. Starting pitcher Stephen Ridings came into the game with an earned run average above 8.00, but did not look like a struggling pitcher. He went six innings, gave up five hits and two earned runs while striking out nine on his way to his third win of the season.
Idaho Falls’ bats didn’t slow down as they scored 12 more runs to win 15-2 and claim the Pioneer League North first-half title.
The Osprey start the second half of their season on Friday against the Billings Mustangs.