(Mustangs media release)
GREAT FALLS – The Billings Mustangs (6-1, 21-24) won their fourth straight game on Wednesday with a 6-4 win over the Great Falls Voyagers (1-6, 23-22) in 12 innings in front of 1,195 at Centene Stadium.
The game would see four of the 10 total runs scored in the first two innings as both offenses came out hot. Zeek White led off the game with a first-pitch single to extend his hitting streak to nine games. He is the first Mustang to reach a nine-game hitting streak this season. White scored after stealing second on Jay Schuyler’s RBI single. Schuyler would reach four times on Wednesday, walking twice and driving in two runs.
The Voyagers immediately took the lead back with two runs in the first and extended that advantage with another run in the second off starter Ricardo Smith. Ramon Beltre doubled to lead off the first and scored on Amado Nunez’ single. Beltre then sacrificed a run in in the second. Smith went four innings in the start, striking out five and giving up three runs without a decision.
Great Falls held that 3-1 lead into the sixth inning after a solid outing from their starter Matt Portland. He would set a career-high with eight strikeouts in his five innings of work.
The Mustangs got one back from the first reliever they saw in the sixth. Pabel Manzanero led off with a single and scored on a Dylan Harris grounder. Manzanero finished 2-for-5 with a run and an RBI. Eight of the 10 Mustangs hits came from the first four in their lineup with all four delivering two hits apiece.
The Mustangs bullpen would deliver another big night. Matt Pidich and Moises Nova combined for five innings of shutout relief to allow the Mustangs to tie the game at three and send it to extra innings for the second straight night.
Both teams had opportunities late to close the door that went unfinished. Billings found themselves with the bases loaded and nobody out in the 11th, but were unable to score. The Voyagers then had the winning run at third with just one out in that same inning, but a double play ended the frame after an intentional walk.
Jay Schuyler then delivered his second RBI single of the night in the 12th to give the Mustangs the decisive lead and a wild pitch two batters later extended that advantage to cement the win.
Eddy Demurias (1-2) got the win on Wednesday, his first professional win coming on his 21st birthday. He would throw the final three innings of the game for his longest appearance of the season, striking out two and allowing just one unearned run. It would also be the day that Demurias, along with teammates Jared Solomon and Pabel Manzanero, were announced as 2018 Pioneer League All-Stars.
The Mustangs have now matched their longest winning streak of the year at four games and have won eight of their last nine. They look for the series sweep Thursday at Centene Stadium against the Voyagers. First pitch is set for 7:00 p.m.