IDAHO FALLS — Idaho Falls starting pitcher Robert Penny showed that he's not afraid of no Ghosts as the North Carolina native turned in his best performance of the young season, working seven innings of three hit baseball, to help lift the Chukars to their third straight victory with an 8-4 win over Casper on Wednesday evening.
“He attacked the hitters. That’s what we want them to do. He did a great job,” Chukars skipper Buck Buchanan said of Penny's outing. “We’ve been playing well. You have to remember, they are young kids. We’ll have games where we make some errors, and we’ll have some games where we don’t. It’s nice when it comes together in one game where pitching, defense and hitting are all there.”
Penny entered Wednesday's contest a paltry 0-3 on the season so to say that the young right hander needed a win could be considered a bit of an understatement.
Penny looked in complete control in his seven innings on the hill with the only blemish on the evening being a lead off double to Fransisco Sosa in the top of the second inning. Sosa eventually came around to score on a sacrifice fly ball to left field and from their the Ghosts never got another runner into scoring position off of Penny.
“It wasn’t really an adjustment, it was locating my pitches a little better. Mostly, they hit the fastball last time. Today, we were more aggressive with the curve ball and change up," Penny said. “We’ve been winning on the road pretty consistently. It feels good to give the fans at home something to cheer about.”
Offensively the Chukars got a big performance from Tuesday nights hero Daniel Mateo who feasted on the Casper pitching staff for a perfect 4 for 4 evening at the dish, raising his season average to a bulging .429.
All told the Chukars knocked out 14 hits on an evening in which every member in the lineup reached base.
The Ghosts tried to mount a ninth inning rally off of reliever David Middendorf as Sosa launched a towering home run off of the scoreboard in left center field but in the end the large lead proved to be more than enough as Idaho Falls moved one game over five hundred with their ninth win of the season and are now just a game and a half behind Ogden for first place in the southern division.
Idaho Falls (9-8) will go for the sweep today with first pitch scheduled for 7:15 P.M.