HELENA, Montana - The Billings Mustangs (3-4) earned their first shutout victory of the season Saturday, topping the Helena Brewers (4-3) 4-0 in front of 1,015 at Kindrick Legion Field.
Jared Solomon (1-0) was outstanding in the start for Billings, throwing six scoreless innings, allowing two hits and striking out three. It was the longest outing by a Billings pitcher this season.
Justin Bullock (0-1) was equally impressive on the other side in the start for the Brewers, but would not find any run support. Bullock went five innings, giving up a single run on four hits while striking out seven.
Both sides would remain scoreless through the first four innings before the Mustangs delivered in the top of the fifth. Bren Spillane hit his first career homerun, a solo shot to left to ding Bullock for his only run of the night. Spillane delivered a 4-for-4 performance with a triple, homerun and two runs scored in just his third game of professional baseball.
Helena saw their best opportunity in the bottom of the eighth, but were unable to convert. After two walks and a single loaded the bases with nobody out, the next three batters would be retired in the infield to keep it a scoreless inning.
Two more runs crossed the plate for the Mustangs in the ninth thanks to a leadoff triple from Spillane, RBI double from Brandt Stallings and an RBI single from Carlos Rivero.
The Billings pitching staff combined to allow just three hits in the game and strike out six.
The Mustangs and Brewers will play in a rubber match Sunday in the three-game series finale. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m. at Kindrick Legion Field.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.