(Billings Mustangs release)
GREAT FALLS – The Billings Mustangs (0-2) were eliminated from the 2018 Pioneer League playoffs on Saturday in a 9-2 loss to the Great Falls Voyagers (2-0) in front of 942 at Centene Stadium.
Billings started the game with an early lead, scoring two runs in the second off starter Konnor Pilkington. Dylan Harris hit his second home run of the year, a solo shot in the second at-bat of the inning for the first run of the game. The homer broke a drought of eight straight games without a home run for the Mustangs. Reniel Ozuna doubled immediately following and scored on a Miguel Hernandez single to right. Billings held a 2-0 lead after the top of the second.
Great Falls then mounted an offensive surge that would last throughout the entire game. The Great Falls offense posted multiple runs in each of the next three innings and scored in five of the next six to turn a 2-0 deficit into a 9-2 lead.
Amado Nunez led the offense, coming within a triple of the cycle. The Pioneer League batting champion went 3-for-4 with a double, home run, two runs and three RBI.
Great Falls was able to tie the game immediately in the 2nd with an RBI double from Nunez who scored on a wild pitch. They would never trail again in the game.
Micah Coffey added a two-RBI double in the third to give Great Falls their first lead, one which they did not relinquish.
The Billings bats fell quiet after the second. Over the final seven innings of the game, Billings did not have a hit, had just one man aboard and had the final 18 of the game retired as well as 22 of the last 23. The only base runner to reach in that time was Drew Mount who led off the fourth by reaching on a fielding error at second.
Davis Martin (1-0) threw four no-hit, shutout innings to earn the win and eat up the middle innings for the Voyagers’ bullpen. After allowing the leadoff error reach, he retired 12 straight.
With the loss, the Mustangs’ 2018 season comes to an end.