Great Falls, MT-The Voyagers held a slim lead with solid starting pitching until some late runs propelled Billings to a 3-1 victory and a series sweep Wednesday night at Centene Stadium.
Great Falls (3-3, 18-25) has lost three in a row and dropped to 5-9 against Billings in the season series. The Voyagers finished their eight-game home stand at 4-4. The Mustangs (5-1, 20-24) have won four straight, and improved to 11-13 on the road. It marked the second sweep of Great Falls for Billings. Nine of the 14 games in the season series have been decided by three runs or fewer.
The Voyagers opened the scoring with a first-inning tally. Three consecutive singles by Luis Curbelo, Harvin Mendoza, and Lency Delgado brought in the game's first run.
After a pitching change, Billings seized control with a two-run top of the sixth. The frame started with a walk of Quincy McAfee, who was later caught stealing at second. The next two batters were hit by pitches. Another walk followed and with two outs in the inning, Jonathan Willems plugged a line drive single into center that plated two runs for a 2-1 lead. The Mustangs added a third run in the eighth for the game's final margin.
Avery Weems posted another solid start on the mound for Great Falls. Weems went five scoreless innings and gave up five hits with three strikeouts and no walks. He did not factor in the decision. Billings' starter Justin McGregor picked up the win. McGregor (2-4) went five-and-a-third and allowed just one earned run on eight hits with four strikeouts and no walks. Ramon Pineda took the loss for the Voyagers. Pineda (2-1) pitched one inning and gave up two earned runs on one hit with two strikeouts and two walks. Jake Stevenson struck out the side in the ninth to earn his fourth save.
The Mustangs outhit the Voyagers 11-to-10. Eric Yang and Jonathan Willems each collected two hits. Yang scored twice and Willems drove in all three. Harvin Mendoza and Lency Delgado both went 2-for-4.
Great Falls begins a new three-game road series at Missoula Thursday night. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05. 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.