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Billings Mustangs’ division lead down to two games after loss

Posted at 7:33 PM, Sep 02, 2018

(Billings Mustangs release)

GREAT FALLS – The Billings Mustangs (21-13, 36-36) lost their second straight game to the Great Falls Voyagers (12-21, 34-37) 14-3 on Sunday in front of 933 at Centene Stadium.

Billings scored the first three runs of the game to take a 3-0 lead all the way into the bottom of the third. Great Falls committed three errors in the first to compliment a hit from Mariel Bautista to score three runs. Bautista is now on a 23-game hitting streak. It is the longest hit streak for a Mustang since Chris Valaika set the Pioneer League record of 32 straight games in 2006.

That 3-0 lead held into the bottom of the third before the Voyagers’ offense exploded. 11 straight batters would reach to open the inning as the Mustangs committed all three of their errors of the game in the third. Amado Nunez hit a three-run home run in the frame, one of just four hits for 10 runs in the inning. It was the largest scoring inning for an opponent this season as Luis Alecis (3-4) was knocked out of the game before recording an out in the third.

That lead was extended for Great Falls on three more runs in the fourth. Logan Sowers tacked on a solo home run before Adam McGinnis and Micah Coffey each added in RBI singles. Coffey was never retired in the game, going 3-for-3 with two walks, three RBI and a run.

Billings collected only four hits on Sunday, totaling six hits over the first two games of the series. They are being out-hit 20-6 over the last two days.

Eddy Demurias provided a silver lining with three innings of shutout relief. The righty gave up just one hit while striking out two and walking two.

The Mustangs can clinch a playoff spot with a win tomorrow coupled with a Helena Brewers’ loss. Helena must win at least three of their final four games to have a shot at a berth in the divisional series. The Missoula Osprey were mathematically eliminated from playoff contention on Sunday.

The Mustangs will finish off their series in Great Falls with their final road game of the regular season on Monday. First pitch at Centene Stadium is set for 7:00 p.m.