(Editor’s Note: Billings Mustangs Press Release)
BILLINGS – The Billings Mustangs (13-20) were eliminated from playoff contention in the first half of Pioneer League play on Saturday with their 8-5 loss to the Idaho Falls Chukars (17-14) in front of 3,074 at Dehler park.
The Chukars managed to score four first-inning runs on four hits and an error. Rhett Aplin drove a two-run home run to right, his sixth homer of the season. Juan Carlos Negret and Isaiah Henry hit back-to-back doubles later in the inning to cap the offense.
Billings utilized two errors in the second to score their first run of the night. After Leonardo Seminati reached on a throwing error to start the second, he scored after a potential inning-ending double play was thrown away behind first base, giving Seminati an extra two bases and making it a 4-1 Chukars lead.
Edwin Yon led off the fourth with a double, lining his first pitch off the left field wall. He scored later on a fielder’s choice before Reyny Reyes tripled to right with two outs to score Quincy McAfee from first and put the tying run just 90 feet from home. Reyes would be stranded there, however, with the Chukars clinging to a one-run lead.
Three hit batters, a walk and two hits got the Chukars their largest lead yet in the top of the sixth inning. Four runs scored in the inning after the first five batters to the plate all reached safely.
The Mustangs scored another two runs in the bottom of the seventh on two errors, bringing the tying run to the plate with two men in scoring position, but were unable to close the gap.
Johnnie Schneider and Ryan Dunne both threw two shutout innings of relief for the Mustangs, but the Chukars bullpen did not allow a chance for Billings to complete a comeback.
The Mustangs and Chukars will face off in the finale of their three-game series Sunday in Billings. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m. MDT at Dehler Park.