(Billings Mustangs release)
BILLINGS - For the second time this season, the Billings Mustangs (19-7, 34-30) picked up a walk-off win, 6-5, over the Idaho Falls Chukars (7-19, 28-35) in front of 3,421 Saturday night at Dehler Park.
With six runs being scored between the two teams in the first three innings, the game provided a back-and-forth start to the night.
Idaho Falls took a brief lead in the first after Brady McConnell walked with one out and scored later on a grounder to the right side of the infield.
The Mustangs immediately snatched the lead away with two runs on one hit in the bottom of the first. Victor Ruiz flew a sacrifice to center and Leonardo Seminati singled in a run. Seminati went 3-for-5 with an RBI for his second three-hit game in his last three appearances.
Trailing 4-2 after the third, the Chukars came up with a run in the fifth and seventh to even the game over the middle innings.
Alec Byrd threw a season-high 3 2/3 innings of relief for Billings, giving up one run on four hits, no walks and striking out a career-high six batters.
Trailing 5-4 into the bottom of the 10th after the Chukars scored their designated runner in the top of the inning, Reniel Ozuna snuck a pinch-hit single up the middle to tie the game and put the winning run aboard for the Mustangs. Later with two outs and Quin Cotton at first base, TJ Hopkins stepped to the plate. The outfielder lined an RBI double to right to score Cotton from first and give the Mustangs the 6-5 win -- the second walk-off base hit for Hopkins this season.
It was just the second extra-inning win of the season for the Mustangs and their first against the Chukars in five attempts.
The Mustangs and Chukars play in the finale of their four-game series Sunday, Aug. 25, as Billings looks for the series sweep. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m. MDT at Dehler Park.