Early Lead Not Enough in Loss to Missoula
Great Falls, MT - The Voyagers received another quality start from Jason Morgan but their early offense was not enough in a 7-5 Missoula victory Saturday night at Centene Stadium. Great Falls (10-14, 25-36) has lost three straight and fell to 16-15 at home this season. The Osprey (15-10, 35-28) have won three of four in the series and improved to 17-14 on the road. Missoula has won 15 of 18 against the Voyagers overall this season, and is 29-18 against North Division opponents. The Osprey have won seven of their last nine but remain three-and-a-half games back of first-place Billings.
The Voyagers raced out to an early 5-1 lead thanks to a one-run first and a four-run second. In the first, Caberea Weaver led off the home half with a base hit up the middle into center. Kelvin Maldonado brought Weaver home from first on a double lined up the right field side. After Francis Martinez homered leading off the top of the second for Missoula, Great Falls sent seven men to the plate in the bottom of the second. Jonathan Allen started the inning with a hit-by-pitch. Sam Abbott followed with a single into center. Kleyder Sanchez doubled to right field for a 2-1 lead. Joshua Rivera then lined a triple into right-center that plated two runs. Weaver added an RBI single for the four-run cushion.
Missoula climbed within one at 5-4 by scoring three in the fifth. Two innings later, the Osprey seized control on a Cesar Garcia three-run home run banged high off the scoreboard in left. It was Garcia's third of the season, and came with one out in the inning. Luvin Valbuena walked to lead off the frame. A Cam Coursey fielder's choice that resulted in a throwing error to second put two runners on ahead of Garcia. The Voyagers brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth after Caberea Weaver tripled with two outs.
Great Falls outhit the Osprey 11-to-10. Caberea Weaver went 3-for-5 with one RBI and one run. Sam Abbott and Kleyder Sanchez both had two hits. Cesar Garcia finished with three hits and three RBIs for Missoula.
On the mound, Denson Hull registered the win in relief. Hull (2-2) worked four scoreless and gave up just two hits with five strikeouts and no walks. Connor Reich took the loss. Reich (1-1) pitched two innings and surrendered three runs (two earned) on one hit (HR) with one strikeout and two walks. Jared Liebelt notched his first save with two strikeouts and one hit allowed in the ninth. Voyagers' starter Jason Morgan lasted six innings and yielded four runs (two earned) on eight hits (HR) with two strikeouts and two walks. It marked Morgan's sixth quality start of the season and sixth in his last seven outings.
Great Falls closes out the six-game series with a doubleheader against Missoula Sunday afternoon. First pitch of game one is scheduled for 2 p.m. Both games will be seven innings. For season tickets and promotional information, call 406-452-5311 or visit www.gfvoyagers.com.
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Pioneer League Stories from August 25, 2019
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