Playing at Kindrick Legion Field for the last time in the 2017 season, the Helena Brewers (27-45, 12-22) fell to the Missoula Osprey (36-36, 17-17) 6-4 on Tuesday night.
Brewers starter Gabe Friese turned in another exceptional outing, tossing 6.0 scoreless innings. The right-hander allowed a single with two outs in the first and proceeded to sit down the next 11 batters he faced in order, including 10 straight on ground balls.
Friese worked out of his only jam of the game in the fifth, when he allowed two men to reach base on a walk and a single with one out. The Marietta, Georgia native struck out the next two batters to get out of the inning and sat down the side in order in the sixth, finishing off his day. Friese allowed just two hits and walked one while turning in his fourth consecutive quality outing.
The Brewers gave their starter a pair of runs in the fifth. With two outs, Franly Mallen and Alex Guenette both singled to center, bringing up Jose Gomez. The 5'3" outfielder whacked a double down the left field line, scoring two runs to give the Brewers a 2-0 lead. For the season, 18 of Gomez' 27 RBI have come against the Osprey.
Missoula took the lead when the Brewers turned to the bullpen in the seventh. Reliever Cody Beckman (0-3) hit the first batter he faced and allowed a single to Juan Araujo, putting men on the corners. Gavin Stupienski doubled to left, scoring a run to cut the Brewers lead to 2-1. Two batters later, Francis Martinez singled up the middle to tie the game. After a strikeout of Brandon Leyton, Beckman walked Gabriel Maciel to load the bases. Eduardo Diaz singled to right, scoring the go ahead run to give Missoula a 3-2 lead.
The Osprey tagged on three more runs in the top of the eighth on a fielding error by Mallen, two singles and another double by Stupienksi, pushing Missoula to a 6-2 lead.
A big swing from the Brewers catcher infused life into the offense in the bottom of the eighth. Following an Antonio Pinero single, KJ Harrison hit a home run off the scoreboard in left, his tenth of the season, to pull Helena with two at 6-4. The next three batters, however, would go in order. Osprey reliever Cole Bartlett picked up his fourth save of the season by sitting down all three Brewers batters he faced in the bottom of the ninth.
Helena goes on the road for their final four games of the season against the Billings Mustangs starting at 7:05 PM on Wednesday night. The Brewers are scheduled to send RHP Harold Chirino (1-5, 6.45) to the mound against Mustangs RHP Hunter Greene (0-1, 40.50). The game can be heard on KCAP 95.9/950 AM, the TuneIn App, the MiLB First Pitch App or online at helenabrewers.net.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.