(Mustangs media release)
HELENA – The Billings Mustangs (9-2, 24-25) claimed the series over the Helena Brewers (6-5, 23-26) on Sunday with a 6-5 win in front of 406 at Kindrick Legion Field.
Helena took the first lead of the game with a run in the second off a David Fry solo home run. The homer ties Fry for the team lead and leaves him one shy of the Pioneer League lead in homers.
Adrian Rodriguez threw six innings for his second consecutive start. He allowed three runs on seven hits and struck out six.
The Mustangs tied the game in the fourth when Juan Martinez doubled to score Drew Mount. Martinez had two RBI in the game in a 1-for-3 performance and totaled seven RBI in the series.
Trailing 3-2 going into the top of the eighth, the Mustangs found a way to come back late with two runs on just one hit. They were aided by a walk, two wild pitches and the second error of the game by Helena shortstop Brice Turang.
The lead would not last long as the Brewers immediately scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth to take a 5-4 advantage and force the Mustangs to their final three outs of the game. Luis Avila doubled to start the inning before the next two batters were walked to load the bases with nobody out. A wild pitch and a sacrifice fly would bring in the two runs.
With their backs against the wall, the Mustangs responded in the top of the ninth with a leadoff single from Jay Schuyler. Schuyler went 2-for-4 on Sunday with a walk and a run scored. Two batters later he would score on the decisive two-run home run of Pabel Manzanero, his third hit of the day leaving him a triple shy of the cycle. That made it a 6-5 lead, the third lead change of the final two innings.
Ryan Dunne would come in to cement the win by throwing a perfect ninth inning to earn his first professional save.
The Mustangs wrap up their road trip going 4-1 and taking their first two road series of the year. They now have a three-game lead in the Pioneer League North Division over the Brewers.
Sunday marked the final time the Mustangs would play at Kindrick Legion Field as the Helena Brewers are scheduled to move to Colorado Springs in 2019.
The Pioneer League vs. Northwest League All-Star Game will be played Tuesday night in Grand Junction, Colorado, the fourth annual playing of the game. Eddy Demurias and Pabel Manzanero will represent the Mustangs in the game with a 6:40 p.m. first pitch scheduled at Suplizio Field. Jared Solomon was also named to the team, but will not play in the game due to his promotion to the Dayton Dragons.
The Mustangs return home for a seven-game homestand beginning Thursday at Dehler Park against the Ogden Raptors. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.