(Billings Mustangs release)
BILLINGS – The Billings Mustangs (8-10, 26-29-1) lost for the first time in their series, 6-4, to the Missoula Osprey (6-12, 25-31) in front of 3,126 on Sunday at Dehler Park.
Missoula opened their scoring in the second with the first professional homerun of William Gorman. Gorman would end up scoring three of Missoula’s six runs in the contest. Of the three combined homeruns hit on Sunday, all of them would be 418 feet or longer. J.D. Williams’ solo home in the fifth would be the longest at 423 feet.
Billings’ first run came in the third after Williams singled to lead off the inning. He would then steal second, advance to third on a throwing error and score on the sacrifice of Urwin Juaquin. Williams finished the day 2-for-4 with a homerun, two runs and a steal.
Franklyn Soriano (3-4) threw five innings in the start for Missoula, giving up three of his four runs in the final six batters he saw as fatigue began to set in. Casey Kulina and Araham Almonte then combined to retire 12 of the last 13 Mustangs hitters in the game in relief.
The bullpen was again solid for the Mustangs. After Jhon De Jesus (1-4) had issues in his start, Zac Correll, Cory Thompson and Connor Ryan combined to give up just one run on one hit over the last five and one-third innings. The last two nights, the Osprey have collected just three hits in the fifth or later.
Both sides had eight hits in the game, but the Mustangs would walk six batters while Missoula walked only one.
Trailing by four on two occasions, Billings got to within two late and had the tying run at the plate in the eighth. Hendrik Clementina doubled in two runs in the sixth to cut the Missoula lead in half, but the Mustangs would never fully recover the four-run deficit.
The Mustangs and Osprey will face off in their series finale Monday at Dehler Park. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.