Saturday’s postgame fireworks were fitting in what turned out to be an explosive game between the Grand Junction Rockies and Idaho Falls Chukars.
The Rockies (29-39, 8-22) cut into a big Chukars lead with six runs in the top of the ninth, but Idaho Falls ended the comeback bid for a 10-7 rollercoaster win before a lively crowd of 3,351 at Melaleuca Field.
The win, combined with Orem’s 9-1 loss to Ogden, gives the Chukars (37-31, 18-12) a 21/2-game lead atop the Pioneer League South Division second-half standings.
The late-game drama didn’t completely overshadow the return of Kansas City Royals first draft pick Hunter Dozier and the performance of starting pitcher Yender Caramo.
Dozier went 4 for 5 with 3 RBIs and three runs scored in his first game back in Idaho Falls since being called up to Royals affiliate Lexington Legends earlier in August. The 21-year-old hit .327 in 15 games with the Legends, which were recently eliminated from playoff contention.
“He was the leader of this team before he left and he’s gonna continue to be the leader of this team,” Chukars manager Omar Ramirez said. “He plays hard all the time. He’s an example to the players.”