Webb Spins Gem to Give Chukars Opening Night Win
Billings, MT - In the start of his second go around in Idaho Falls, Nathan Webb (1-0) made sure to get the season started the right way. Coming into the game with one out and one on in the fifth inning, Webb retired all but two batters that he faced, finishing the game with six consecutive strikeouts and a career high ten. The Chukars took a two run lead in the fourth inning and never looked back, cruising to a 5-2 win over the Billings Mustangs on Opening Night at Dehler Park.
The Chukars got the scoring started in the top of the second inning, as with two on and two out, Rafael Romero singled home Ismaldo Rodriguez to make it 1-0 Chukars. Maikel Garcia stepped in next, and Mustangs starter Carlos Carreno (0-1) threw one to the backstop that scored Isaiah Smith from third.
However, Billings tied the game up immediately in the bottom of the second inning, as a leadoff single from Quin Cotton scored on a double from Ranser Amador off Chukars starter Angel Zerpa. Leonardo Seminati singled Amador to third, who then came across on sacrifice fly from Claudio Finol to tie the game.
Idaho Falls took the lead for good in the fourth inning thanks to control issues from Carreno. Chris Hudgins started the inning with a double, and moved to third on a wild pitch with Michael Emodi up. Emodi reached on a hit by pitch, and with runners at the corners & two out, another Carreno wild pitch plated Hudgins to give the Chukars the lead back. Garcia then grounded a ball to short that Amador airmailed to first, scoring Emodi to extend the lead to 4-2.
After the two runs he allowed in the second, Zerpa allowed just one more base runner the rest of his outing. He gave way to Webb after a one out double by Jonathan Willems in the fifth, and Webb turned the lights out. He got the next two to strand Willems aboard, and then struck out the side in the sixth. From there, he surrendered just two hits the rest of the game. Webb allowed just those two hits over 4.2 shutout innings, with his ten strikeouts exceeding his career high by three.
Rhett Aplin added a key piece of insurance in the ninth with solo homer, the first of his career. The Chukars look to start the season 2-0 as they battle the Mustangs tomorrow at 6:35 PM. You can listen to the game on KSPZ 980 The Zone in Idaho Falls or online by searching Idaho Falls in the TuneIn App.
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