Rockies overcome Chukars’ furious rally, win 14-13

The Idaho Falls Chukars could taste a third straight walk-off win. This one would’ve been the most thrilling.

The third time was not the charm.

Grand Junction designated hitter Colton Welker hit a two-strike, two-out RBI single in the top of the ninth inning. It proved to be the winning run in the Rockies’ 14-13 victory Saturday at Melaleuca Field, and it negated I.F.’s seven-run comeback.

Tragedy of errors

The Chukars went into Saturday’s game leading the Pioneer League with 35 errors. They did more than enough to maintain that lead Saturday.

I.F. piled up six errors, all through the first seven innings. Six of Grand Junction’s 14 runs were unearned.

Weirdly enough, those errors didn’t loom as large as one Grand Junction error in the bottom of the seventh.

With runners on second and third and two outs, Chukars right fielder Tanner Stanley hit a ground ball to the shortstop. Jose Gomez scooped it up and fired to first. The ball dove into the dirt, and Hunter Melton couldn’t handle it. Both runs scored to cut the Rockies’ lead to 13-10.

Two batters later, Yeison Melo hit a two-run double to tie it at 13-13. It capped a seven-run inning in which the Rockies committed both of their errors. Luckily for Grand Junction, the two miscues didn’t lead to a loss.

Viloria’s eventful night

I.F. catcher Meibrys Viloria caused some controversy Thursday night. In the bottom of the ninth, Viloria made a wide slide that clipped Jose Gomez on a double play attempt. Gomez dropped the ball, which allowed Colton Frabasilio to score the game-winning run.

Viloria hit his second home run of the season in the fourth inning Saturday, and he knew it right away. Viloria flipped his bat as soon as the three-run shot began its flight over the right field wall.

Viloria’s next plate appearance came in the bottom of the sixth. Heath Holder’s first pitch nicked Viloria in the back, and home plate umpire Steven Hodgins immediately ejected the right-hander.

Viloria and hitting coach Andre David, among other Chukars, lobbed angry words toward Grand Junction, but tensions cooled down after that.

Player of the game

Rockies first baseman Hunter Melton

Melton went 3 for 5 with a double, a walk and a two-run home run. The performance raised his batting average from .063 to .190.

Up next

The Chukars (8-7) and the Rockies (7-7) wrap up their four-game series at 4 p.m. Sunday. I.F.’s Arnaldo Hernandez is scheduled to face fellow righty Bryan Baker.

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