August 30, 2017 - Pioneer League (PL) - Great Falls Voyagers
Great Falls, MT - The Voyagers five-game home winning streak was snapped with a 15-13 series-opening loss to the Helena Brewers Tuesday night at Centene Stadium.
Great Falls (30-35, 15-12) is now 7-6 against Helena in the season series. The Voyagers are three games up on Missoula and remain four games ahead of Billings for first-place in the Pioneer League North Division second-half with just 11 games left. The Brewers (24-41, 9-18) snapped a two-game losing streak with the win.
The Voyagers scored the game's first run in the 1st inning. Nolan Brown blasted his first triple of the season deep to the gap in right-center. Brown later scored on a wild pitch.
Helena scored six times in the 3rd for their first lead of the night, a lead they would never relinquish the rest of the game. Consecutive singles from Kenny Corey, Tristen Lutz, and K.J. Harrison set the wheels in motion. The tying run scored on a sacrifice fly to right by Gabriel Garcia. An RBI single from Jay Feliciano gave the Brewers a 2-1 lead. With the bases loaded and two outs, Payton Henry hit a grounder to third. An errant throw behind first base allowed all three runs to score and put Henry at third. Nicolas Pierre singled home the final run of the inning for a 6-1 cushion.
A three-run 4th for Helena made it 9-1. K.J. Harrison had a two-run double in the inning. Great Falls plated a single run in the bottom of the 4th. Justin Yurchak singled and later scored on a David Cronin base hit.
The Brewers extended the lead to 15-2 with a six-run top of the 5th. The inning was highlighted by a Gabriel Garcia grand slam high and deep to left. It was Garcia's eighth homer of the season.
The Voyagers comeback attempt began with a run in the bottom of the 5th on a sacrifice fly to center from Justin Yurchak that scored Max Dutto. Dutto had led off the inning with a single lined into right. In the 6th, Franklin Reyes led off with a solo home run scorched deep to left-center and it was 15-4. It was Reyes' fifth big fly of the season.
Great Falls sent 10 men to the plate in a six-run 7th. Nolan Brown led off the frame with a double. J.J. Muno walked. Justin Yurchak followed with a two-run double deep to left-center. Carlos Perez reached with a walk. With one out, David Cronin singled home a run. An error on a grounder to second put Amado Nunez on and loaded the bases. Max Dutto then doubled up the right field line for three more and it was 15-10.
The Voyagers plated two in the 8th before the inning ended prematurely. Leading off, J.J. Muno doubled to left-center. Justin Yurchak walked. With one out, Franklin Reyes singled to right. A bases loaded walk of David Cronin brought in the first run. Amado Nunez made it 15-12 with a fielder's choice. After a force out at second on the play, Reyes was caught in a rundown between third and home that resulted in a tag out to stop the momentum. Great Falls scored once in the 9th and loaded the bases before a double play ball finished the game.
Helena outhit Great Falls 14-to-13. Kenny Corey led the way for the Brewers with four hits, two RBIs, and three runs scored. Gabriel Garcia had two hits with five RBIs. Nolan Brown and Max Dutto both had three hits for the Voyagers. Brown scored twice and Dutto drove in three with two runs. Justin Yurchak and David Cronin each had three RBIs as well.
Michael Petersen posted the win on the mound. Petersen (1-2) worked five innings and gave up three runs (two earned) on five hits with a season-best seven strikeouts and four walks. Kyle Von Ruden took the loss. Von Ruden (3-3) went three innings and allowed six runs (two earned) on six hits with two strikeouts and two walks. Cody Beckman pitched in the 9th and earned his second save. Beckman gave up one earned run on one hit with one walk. Of the 15 Brewers runs, only six were earned.
Great Falls faces Helena Wednesday night to close out the two-game home series. First pitch at Centene Stadium is set for 7 p.m. The Voyagers then play at Helena Thursday and Friday nights. For 2017 ticketing and promotional information, call 406-452-5311 or visit www.gfvoyagers.com.