(Editor’s note: Mustangs media release)
BILLINGS – The Billings Mustangs (9-16) fell in their series opener 9-4 to the Grand Junction Rockies (12-13) in front of 2,117 at Dehler Park on Tuesday in their first game of the season against a Southern Division opponent.
The Rockies’ success Tuesday would be rooted in three-run innings. All nine of their runs on the night came in three-run frames including the first and second.
James Marinan (0-1) made his Cincinnati Reds system debut in the start, but had trouble finding outs early. The Rockies plated three in the first on three hits and an error. Grant Lavigne singled in two runs and Daniel Montano hit his eighth double of the year.
Grand Junction backed up a three-run first with more of the same in the second. Will Golsan and Niko Decolati each had RBI doubles in the inning to knock Marinan out of the game. Marinan would allow six runs on four hits and walk three in the loss.
The Mustangs staged a small rally over the next several innings to get within three. Pabel Manzanero and Reshard Munroe each hit their third homerun of the year, both solo homers. Munroe’s blast to right was measured at 451 feet, the longest of the year for a Mustang. Juan Martinez would lead the Mustangs offense with a 3-for-4 night, scoring a run and batting another in. It was his first multi-hit game with the team.
Matt Pidich was nearly untouchable out of the Billings bullpen. After giving up a hit to the first batter he saw, Pidich would retire the next 11 to end his outing. His three and two-thirds innings of relief was the longest outing by a Billings reliever this season. He has been the arm behind each of the two longest relief outings of the year for Billings.
The Rockies put the game away with a three-run seventh inning. Lavigne singled in another run and scored himself on a wild pitch. Lavigne finished 2-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored.
The Mustangs and Rockies will square off in game two of their four-game series Wednesday at Dehler Park. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.