(Editor's note: Mustangs media release)
BILLINGS -- The Billings Mustangs (23-14, 38-37) were dealt an 11-run loss the day after clinching a playoff spot, falling 14-3 to the Missoula Osprey (20-17, 40-35) in front of 2,689 on Friday at Dehler Park.
10 of the 14 runs for Missoula came in the top of the first inning as the Osprey put 14 batters at the plate. The first five up would reach safely including four consecutive hits to start the game. Axel Andueza went 2-for-2 in the inning with a double, two runs and two RBI. The Mustangs would need to use three pitchers to get out of the first. It was the most runs allowed in an inning this season by the Billings defense.
After the rough start, Orlando Rodriguez was outstanding in relief for Billings, setting a new team-high with 6 1/3 innings of work on the hill. The right-hander allowed one run in that time on three hits, walking three and striking out five.
James Free went 2-for-4 in the cleanup spot on Friday, collecting a double, run and RBI along the way.
The Mustangs and Osprey will play in the final game of the 2019 regular season Saturday, Sept. 7, at Dehler Park. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. MDT.
The season continues for Billings as they will begin the Pioneer League North Divisional Series Sunday, Sept. 8, at home against the Idaho Falls Chukars. Game one of the best-of-three series is set for a 5:15 p.m. MDT first pitch at Dehler Park with games two and three to be played in Idaho Falls.