(Billings Mustangs release)
BILLINGS – The Billings Mustangs (18-20, 36-39-1) concluded their 2017 season with a 12-11 loss to the Helena Brewers (13-25, 28-48) in front of 2,864 at Dehler Park on Saturday night.
Both teams managed to score multiple runs in the first inning of play. Helena scored two runs on three hits off Ricardo Smith. Smith, making his Pioneer League debut, pitched four innings in the start for Billings. Franly Mallen doubled and Gabriel Garcia singled in a run in the first for Helena.
The Mustangs then cranked out five runs in the first to take the lead away. J.D. Williams and Pabel Manzanero each hit homeruns in the inning for the Mustangs off Helena starter Karsen Lindell. It was Williams’ fourth and Manzanero’s third homerun this season.
Helena then tied the game at 5-5 on Jay Feliciano’s fifth-inning homer that plated three off Edward Escoboza. Escoboza was also making his Pioneer League debut for Billings. Feliciano added another four RBI to his total on Saturday to finish with a team-best 51 runs batted in this season.
The Mustangs immediately took back the lead on an RBI single from Alejo Lopez and a two-run homer from Leandro Santana. It was Santana’s team-best 11th homer this year. Lopez was 4-for-5 on Saturday while scoring two runs to raise his batting average from .288 to end the season at .300 on the mark.
Billings would trail 12-9 going into the bottom of the ninth before mounting a rally that would fall just short. Parker Bean would walk the first two batters he saw and throw three wild pitches to allow two runs in before he was pulled with just one out. Alejo Lopez, after his fourth single of the night, advanced from second to third on the last of those wild pitches to put the tying run just 90 feet from home. He would be stranded there as Cody Martin retired the only two batters he saw to record his first professional save and end the game.
The Mustangs concluded their 2017 season with a 3-1 series victory over the Brewers while winning five of their final seven games.