MISSOULA – The Billings Mustangs (12-10, 35-25) snapped their six-game losing streak Tuesday with a 7-3 win over the Missoula Osprey (11-11, 27-33) in front of 1,757 at Ogren Park Allegiance Field. The loss for the Osprey would also bring to an end their five-game winning streak.
Ian Kahaloa gave up a solo homerun to Jasrado Chisholm in the bottom of the first inning to give Missoula an early 1-0 lead, but recovered well to pitch an outstanding next four innings. At one point in the game, Kahaloa had retired 11 consecutive batters. He allowed just three hits while striking out six. The six strikeouts matched the most he has recorded in the Pioneer League.
The Mustangs took their first lead of the night when Alejo Lopez hit a three-run homer in the fourth to make it 4-1. It was the first professional homerun of Lopez’s two-year career.
Missoula pulled back within two in the fifth on an inning-ending double play. A tag at second for the second out of the play came just after Bryan Araiza crossed home to bring the Mustangs lead down to 4-2.
Patrick Riehl (4-2) tossed two and two-thirds innings of shutout, no-hit relief to earn the win. He would allow just one runner aboard during his time on the hill.
Colby Wright sealed the deal for Billings in the ninth with a two-run homerun, his third of the season. It would also score Hector Vargas and put the Mustangs out of reach.
Billings has moved back into sole possession of second place in the North Division in the second half while Missoula is now two games out of the lead and in third.
The Mustangs and Osprey will meet for the second game of their four-game series Wednesday at Ogren Park Allegiance Field. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.