A big comeback followed by a walk-off loss could have set the Idaho Falls Chukars back, mentally, for a long stretch.
But the failure to clinch the first-half South division title only lasted a day, and the team got back to their winning ways Thursday at Melaleuca Field against the Grand Junction Rockies.
The Idaho Falls offense staged a late comeback while the bullpen shut down the Rockies for a 7-6 win to start the second half.
Luke Willis led off the eighth in a tied ballgame with his second single of the night. A sacrifice moved him to second before Jordan Ebert brought him around for the lead.
Trailing by three runs in the sixth, Angelo Castellano singled. MJ Sanchez hit into a fielder's choice, but the throw to second pulled the shortstop and Castellano was safe. Ryan Dale singled in a run before a single and two wild pitches tied it at six apiece.
The Chukars went on the board first, scoring three runs in the second inning on five straight hits, including a David Edwards double to score Yeison Melo. Sanchez and Dale added RBI singles in the frame.
Matt Portland started well for Idaho Falls, but he ended walking five over two innings as Grand Junction scored five runs. They added a sixth in the fifth inning off Jason Freeman.
Paul Young worked two scoreless innings for his first professional win, and Nick Andros worked around a hit batter in the ninth to record the save.
The four-game series between Grand Junction and Idaho Falls continues Friday night with Cancer Awareness Night, presented by the Teton Cancer Institute. The Chukars will wear and auction off special purple jerseys. It's also Les Schwab Night, all presented by Rich Broadcasting.
If you can't come to the game, make sure to listen to John Balginy and Andrew Haynes on the call on ESPN 980 AM (and the TuneIn app), 105.1 FM and 94.5 FM.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.