Monday night at Suplizio Field, the Grand Junction Rockies battled back from five runs down, but couldn't get over the hump as they lost to the Idaho Falls Chukars 8-5.
The Rockies trailed 5-0 before they ever came up to bat as the Chukars scored five runs in the top of the first, all of them with two out. Chase Vallot struck first with a grand slam, and Nick Hutchins followed with a solo homer. The five runs came off Rockies starter Cayden Hatcher, who was done after the first inning, and after Colton Harlow retired the side in order in the second , Niko Decolati got the Rockies on the board with his 11th home run of the season in the bottom of the inning.
Harlow worked out of a bases loaded jam in the third, and after Michael Agis threw a scoreless fourth inning, the Rockies got even closer when Joey Bartosic singled home two in the bottom of the inning and Cristopher Navarro's RBI single brought the Rockies within one. Agis held the Chukars off the board in the fifth, and Hunter Stovall started the bottom of the inning with a triple, and he scored on Coco Montes' ground out to bring the Rockies all the way back, but the game didn't stay tied for long.
Agis allowed a leadoff triple to Hunter Strong in the sixth and he scored on Julio Gonzalez's RBI single. Kyle Kasser singled home Garcia to make it 7-5. The Rockies had the tying run on base in the bottom of the inning, but Teddy Cillis worked out of trouble, and Jaret Hellinger followed him with three scoreless innings, and the Chukars scored a run in the ninth to up their lead to three.
The loss drops the 17-12 in the second half, and they are now tied with Ogden for first place in the South Division with nine games to play. Idaho Falls is just 1.5 games out, and they are even in the loss column with the Rockies for the second best overall record in the South Division.
Will Golsan, Stovall, and Bartosic finished with two hits for the Rockies.
Tuesday night at Suplizio Field, the Rockies and Chukars will meet for the final time in 2018. The first pitch is scheduled for 6:40.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.