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Huge 3rd inning gives Billings Mustangs series win over Osprey

Posted at 4:43 PM, Jul 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-29 18:43:05-04
Juan Martinez is greeted at home after a homerun during the Billings Mustangs 16-8 win over Missoula Sunday at Dehler Park. (CASEY CONLON / MTN Sports)

(Billings Mustangs release)

BILLINGS – The Billings Mustangs (3-1, 18-24) used their biggest offensive day of the year to top the Missoula Osprey (1-3, 20-22) 16-8 on Sunday in front of 2,419 at Dehler Park.

Missoula would see an early lead in the game, taking a 3-0 advantage after the top of the third. Buddy Kennedy led off the inning with his second single of the game and scored on Zack Shannon’s sacrifice to bump out the lead to 3-0. Kennedy led the Osprey offense with a 3-for-5 performance, scoring two runs.

The Mustangs then delivered their largest offensive inning of the season in the bottom of the third to knock Edgar Martinez (3-4) out of the game. 15 batters came to the plate in the inning as the Mustangs scored nine runs on seven hits, including four for extra bases. They were also walked three times and one batter was hit. Juan Martinez hit a two-run home run in the inning, his third in 18 games. Zeek White and Jay Schuyler both doubled and Carlos Rivero had an RBI triple. The Osprey would have to put three pitchers on the mound in just the third.

The 9-3 lead spread with three more runs in the fourth. White doubled again and scored on Rivero’s sacrifice. White went 2-for-4 with two doubles, a walk and three runs scored.

Ryan Campbell (1-1) threw two perfect innings of relief to earn his first professional win. The Osprey would have 11 consecutive batters retired between the third and the seventh innings.

Cash Case would reach six times in the game, going 4-for-4 with two walks and two runs scored. It was his first four-hit game of the season.

The Osprey tried to make a late push, scoring four runs in the ninth on five consecutive hits to start the inning. Shannon hit a three-run homer, his sixth home run of the year. The rally would be too late, however, as the Mustangs held their lead to win their fifth game in six nights and secure the series victory.

The Mustangs will finish off their six-game homestand with a two-game series against the Great Falls Voyagers. First pitch on Monday from Dehler Park is set for 7:05 p.m.