Colin Simpson and Eddy Diaz made spectacular defensive plays Tuesday night and all four Grand Junction Rockies contributed to the Pioneer League's 11-7 victory in the fifth annual Northwest League-Pioneer League All-Star Game in Boise, Idaho.
Simpson robbed Patrick Frick of a hit when he made a leaping catch at the wall in left field to end the third inning.
In the process, he helped his teammate Anderson Bido, who had come on in relief. Bido pitched two-thirds of an inning, retiring both batters he faced, getting Blaine Crim to ground out to Christian Koss at third base to open the fourth inning.
Koss went 0 for 3 but drove in the Pioneer League's first run of the game on a fielder's choice and wound up scoring on Jeremiah Jackson's grand slam.
The Pioneer League used four home runs to power past the Short-A Northwest League All-Stars.
Eddy Diaz subbed in at shortstop and in the seventh inning made perhaps the defensive play of the game, going to the ground to stop a hard-hit ground ball by Joe Aeilts, flipping the ball behind his back to second base to force the runner.
After the Northwest League came back to lead the game 6-5 by scoring four runs in the fifth inning, the Pioneer League came right back to put the game out of reach in the sixth.
Eric Yang of Missoula led off with a home run, and the Pioneer League put runners on with an error and a base hit.
Jon Littell of Ogden launched a three-run home run for a 9-6 lead. Micah Bello of Rocky Mountain led off the eighth with a triple and Ogden's Sam McWilliams ripped a two-run home run to put the Rookie League All-Stars up 11-6.
The Northwest League added one run in the eighth.
The win pulled the Pioneer League within one game in the series, 3-2.
Notes: Simpson was the runner-up in the Home Run Derby, hitting 12 in the first round. Salem Keizer's Sean Roby hit 18 in the finals to win the title. After the first round, the 5-foot-9, 228-pound Simpson showed off his athleticism by performing a back flip. ... Koss added another award Tuesday, being selected the Pioneer League's player of the month. On Monday, the Rockies' infielder was chosen the player of the week. In July, Koss hit .374 with seven home runs and 29 RBI.