Billings Surges Late to Defeat Voyagers
Billings, MT - The Voyagers scored the first five runs of the game before Billings caught fire late and sealed a 10-6 series-opening win Tuesday night at Dehler Park. Great Falls (8-11, 23-33) lost its third straight overall and dropped to 5-10 in the season series with first-place Billings. The Mustangs (16-6, 31-29) have won eight of their last nine, and the Voyagers have lost four in a row to Billings.
The Voyagers took an early lead with a five-run, four-hit second. After a lead-off walk of Lency Delgado, Sam Abbott produced a one-out RBI double to the warning track in deep left for the game's first run. Bryan Connell reached with an infield single. Kleyder Sanchez extended his hitting streak to five with an RBI single lined into left-center. And, Joshua Rivera smacked his second home run of the season with a three-run shot to deep right for a 5-0 lead.
The Mustangs eventually answered with a five-run bottom of the fourth to tie it. Billings only had one hit in the inning even though eight men came to the plate. A grand slam to deep left by Reniel Ozuna capped the frame. It was Ozuna's fifth homer of the season and his third against Great Falls.
Both teams plated runs in the fifth. Great Falls reclaimed a 6-5 advantage on a lead-off, solo home run in the left field corner that cleared the wall near the pole for Caberea Weaver. It was Weaver's second big fly of the season. Billings quickly leveled the game with a run in the home half. James Free and Eric Yang both singled with two outs. Free eventually scored the tying run on a wild pitch.
Billings took their first lead of the night at 7-6 on a two-out, solo home run to deep left off the bat of T.J. Hopkins. It was Hopkins' fifth of the season. The Mustangs plated three insurance runs in the eighth for a 10-6 cushion. Victor Ruiz, Reniel Ozuna, and Quin Cotton all had RBI singles in the inning.
The Mustangs outhit the Voyagers 10-to-8. Eric Yang, Jonathan Willems, and Reniel Ozuna all had two-hit games. Ozuna drove in five and now has 14 RBIs in 13 games against Great Falls. Caberea Weaver went 2-for-5 for the Voyagers with one RBI and one run.
Ryan Dunne posted the win in relief. Dunne (4-3) worked two-and-a-third scoreless and hitless with six strikeouts and three walks. Rigo Fernandez took the loss. Fernandez (3-2) went two innings and gave up one run on one hit (HR) with three strikeouts. Dan Metzdorf had another solid start for the Voyagers. Metzdorf went three scoreless and allowed just one hit with three strikeouts and no walks. Great Falls finishes its two-game series at Billings Wednesday night. First pitch at Dehler Park is set for 6:35 p.m. The Voyagers next home stand starts Thursday night against Missoula. For season tickets and promotional information, call 406-452-5311 or visit www.gfvoyagers.com.
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