Editor’s Note: Helena Brewers Press Release
HELENA — Despite jumping out to a two run lead in the third inning, the Brewers couldn’t hold down the Osprey offense. Playing as the home team, Missoula made their mark in the bottom of the third inning, sending ten men to the plate and scoring six, putting Helena in a hole they couldn’t recover from. The Osprey added on four more runs, pounding the Brewers 10-2.
Three straight singles in the third gave Helena a 1-0 lead with the RBI coming from Jean Carmona. David Fry stepped in two batters later against Wilfry Cruz (W, 2-0) and sent a ringing double down the left field line, scoring Yeison Coca to extend the lead.
With rain starting to fall, Helena starter Victor Castaneda allowed the first three to reach in the bottom of the third. Eddie Hernandez came to the plate with the bases loaded and nobody out, but before he could step in the umpiring crew called for a rain delay. The delay lasted 20 minutes, but Castaneda punched out Hernandez for the first out. Zack Shannon then hit a sac fly, cutting the lead in half. Zack Jones hit a ground ball to second that could have ended the inning, but the ball took a wicked hop on Yeison Coca, and ricocheted into the outfield scoring Luis Cossio to tie the game.
Joe Robbins then walked, and Cesar Garcia delivered a two run double, giving Missoula the 4-2 lead and ending the night for Castaneda. Clayton Andrews then came in to face David Sanchez, who doubled home two to extend the lead to four.
The Brewers managed just six hits in the ballgame, with only two coming after the third inning.
Tied at one going into the fifth inning, the Helena Brewers strung together a two out rally, scoring three to take a 4-1 lead they wouldn’t relinquish in game two of their double header against Missoula. Blake Lillis (W, 1-0) pitched five innings and allowed just one run to earn his first professional win since 2016.
Missoula started the game with three straight singles to score a run, but Lillis induced a fielder’s choice for the first out, and Yeison Coca turned a 4-3 double play to end the inning.
The defensive wizardry spring boarded the Brewers offense as they loaded the bases on a single from Jean Carmona, a walk from Chad McClanahan, and a single from Nick Egnatuk. David Fry grounded out to short, but it plated Carmona to tie the game.
Lillis and the Osprey bullpen kept throwing zeroes on the scoreboard until the bottom of the fifth, when Helena put together the game defining rally. With two out and nobody on against Matt Ladrech (L, 0-1), Carmona singled, and McClanahan followed with a single of his own. Egnatuk then ripped a line drive into the left center field that rolled to the wall, scoring both and giving Helena the lead. Fry then followed with a seeing eye single up the middle, extending the lead to three.
Missoula then threatened in the sixth, getting the first two on against Lillis, ending his night. Chad Whitmer then entered and got Zac Almond to hit into a 4-3 double play. Joe Robbins then popped out to right to end the inning. Whitmer then got the side in order in the seventh to lock down his first save of the season.
The Brewers and Osprey battle tomorrow night at 7:05 PM. Aaron Ashby makes his first career start for Helena, while Pedro Zorrila takes the ball for Missoula. Tickets are available by visiting helenabrewers.net.