(Mustangs media release)
BILLINGS – The Billings Mustangs (3-6) dropped their series opener, 6-4 to the Great Falls Voyagers (4-6) in front of 2,831 at Dehler Park on Monday.
Great Falls tabbed an early run after leading off the game with a single from Ian Dawkins. After advancing on a wild pitch, he scored on a Romy Gonzalez single with two outs. The Mustangs are now being outscored by opponents 9-0 in the first inning this season.
The Voyagers added to their lead with three more runs in the third on four consecutive hits. Logan Sowers smacked an RBI double, followed by the two-RBI single of Gonzalez. Gonzalez finished 2-for-4 with three RBI and two steals.
Jon Stiever was once again impressive in the start for the Voyagers, throwing three hitless innings and striking out seven. He has now struck out 13 in just six innings of professional pitching.
The Mustangs bullpen would be equally impressive, allowing one hit over the last five innings and giving the home team a late opportunity to come back. Justin McGregor struck out six in his two innings of relief before Jake Wyrick tossed three perfect innings with three strikeouts to close the game.
Given the late defense, the Mustangs scored four runs between the fourth and sixth to close a five-run deficit to just two after the sixth. Jake Turnbull went 2-for-4 and hit his team-best fourth double of the season. Drew Mount also finished 2-for-4, hitting in two and stealing his second bag of the year.
The Billings pitching staff struck out a season-high 15 combined batters; six from starter Ricardo Smith (0-2), six from McGregor and three from Wyrick.
The Mustangs and Voyagers will face off in game two of their three-game series Tuesday at Dehler Park. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.