Great Falls, MT-The Voyagers posted just four hits for a second consecutive game against Billings as the Mustangs claimed the series opener 9-1 Wednesday night at Centene Stadium.
Great Falls (5-11) has lost a season-high six straight. Billings (7-11) owns a season-best four-game winning streak, and improved to 4-2 against the Voyagers.
The Mustangs opened the scoring with a single tally in the first. Quin Cotton led off the game with a single to right. Cotton moved to second on a ground ball error and later scored on a one-out single to center by Reniel Ozuna that bounced off the second base bag and into the outfield.
The Voyagers answered quickly to tie it in the bottom of the first on a Luis Curbelo two-out home run that cleared the scoreboard in deep left for his second of the season. The moonshot traveled 434 feet.
Billings plated a two-out run in the second to retake the lead. Quincy McAfee was hit by a pitch and then scored on a Nate Scantlin RBI triple deep to left-center. The Mustangs scored another two-out run in the third for a 3-1 lead. After two infield singles by Matt Lloyd and Jonathan Willems, Eric Yang produced an RBI single lined into right-center.
A two-run fifth for the Mustangs gave them a 5-1 cushion. Quincy McAfee drove in both runs with a two-out base hit to right. A three-spot in the seventh for Billings made it 8-1, and the Mustangs finished the scoring with an additional run in the eighth.
Billings outhit Great Falls 16-to-4. Quin Cotton went 4-for-5 in the leadoff spot for the Mustangs. Jonathan Willems had three hits with two runs. Quincy McAfee drove in three. Luis Curbelo collected two hits for the Voyagers.
On the mound, Frainger Aranguren picked up the win in relief. Aranguren (1-0) went two-and-two-thirds hitless and scoreless with one strikeout. Carter Love took the loss. Love (1-3) lasted just two innings and allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits. The Billings pitching staff retired 15 straight at one point, and 17 of the final 18 Voyager batters. Ricky Karcher started the game for the Mustangs and left with an apparent arm injury in the fifth. Karcher went four-and-a-third and gave up one earned run on three hits with three strikeouts.
Great Falls plays game two against the Mustangs Thursday night for the Fourth of July holiday. The six-day, seven-game home stand features three against Billings and four against Idaho Falls, including a doubleheader on Monday. For season tickets and promotional information, call 406-452-5311 or visit www.gfvoyagers.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.