(Brewers media release)
HELENA, MT – For the first time in over two years, the Helena Brewers (26-42, 11-19) tossed a shutout, blanking the Great Falls Voyagers (31-37, 16-14) 4-0 on Friday night at Kindrick Legion Field. It’s the Brewers first shutout since August 29, 2015 against the Billings Mustangs.
Helena sealed the shutout in dramatic fashion in the top of the ninth. Reliever Cody Beckman allowed a double down the right field line to J.J. Muno to start the inning and following a strikeout gave up an infield single to David Cronin. Beckman loaded the bases with a walk, but got a firm one hopper back to the mound from Nolan Brown, starting a 1-2-3 double play that ended the game.
After not recording a hit against Voyagers starter Parker Rigler (5-3), the Brewers scored all of their runs in the bottom of the fourth. Gabriel Garcia doubled with one out, setting up Jay Feliciano, who cranked a two-run homer, his tenth of the season, to give Helena a 2-0 lead. Chad McClanahan then drew a walk and went first to third on a single by Franly Mallen. Nicolas Pierre singled in McClanahan to extend the Brewers lead to 3-0, moving Mallen to third in the process. The Brewers second baseman came in to score on a passed ball, capping the Helena rally and making it 4-0.
Starter Harold Chirino worked his way around at least one base runner in every inning. The right-hander induced a double play to cancel out a one-out single in the top of the first, his easiest escape of the night.
In the second, Chirino walked the lead off man and, following a strikeout, surrendered a single to Tracy Hadley. With men on first and second, Chirino struck out Muno and induced a ground out from Cooper, ending the Voyagers scoring threat. The right-hander navigated through a similar situation in the third, striking out a batter and forcing a ground out with men on first and second.
Yet again, Chirino allowed a pair of base runners in the fourth. The 19-year-old walked Justin Yurchak to start the inning and two batters later walked Muno. As Yurchak cheated off second, Chirino whirled around and tossed to a covering Antonio Pinero, who tagged out Yurchak for the second out. During the ensuing at bat, it appeared Chirino had struck out Cooper, but it was ruled a foul ball. Manager Nestor Corredor argued the call and was ejected. On the next pitch, Chirino completed the strikeout of Cooper. Though he didn’t factor into the decision, Chirino tossed 4.0 innings and allowed just three hits while walking three and striking out five.
Reliever Cameron Hanes (1-3) faced his only real drama in the fifth. Cronin reached on an error by McClanahan, and following a line out and a strikeout moved to third on a single by Craig Dedelow. Hanes struck out Antony Villa to end the fifth, one of his four strikeouts.
Helena continues their home stand with a two-game series against the Billings Mustangs starting Saturday night at 7:05 PM. The Brewers are scheduled to send RHP Alec Bettinger (3-3, 5.75) to the mound against Mustangs LHP Packy Naughton (3-3, 3.78).