Great Falls, MT - Helena right hander Victor Castaneda had long been in search of his first win as a member of the Brewers organization, earning a loss or a no decision in each of his first six starts. On a warm Friday night at Centene Stadium, Castaneda was on his game, allowing just three hits over six shutout innings. The righty left in line for the win, and the Helena bullpen held off a late rally from Great Falls to win 4-2. Helena is now 2-0 in the second half.
Castaneda and Voyagers starter Matt Portland duelled through the first three innings, but Helena finally cracked the ice in the fourth. Jean Carmona started the inning with a single, but remained at first as Portland struck out the next two. He stole second with LG Castillo up, and got to third as the throw to second sailed into center field. Castillo worked a 14 pitch at bat, fouling off eight straight 2-2 pitches. Pitch 14 Castillo drilled off the left center field wall, scoring Carmona easily to give Helena the 1-0 lead.
After the Brewers scored their first run, Castaneda held Great Falls in check over the next three innings, as only two more reached base over his final three frames. While he did not record a strikeout, Castaneda only issued one walk in the game.
With the score still 1-0, Tate Budnick entered for the seventh and surrendered a leadoff single to Romy Gonzalez. A ground out moved him to second, but Budnick got the next two to strike out, stranding the tying run in scoring position.
The clutch escape spring boarded the Brewers in the eighth, as a Luis Avila leadoff double scored on a bunt from Yeison Coca in which a catching error was made by second baseman Amado Nunez, who was covering first. Carmona walked and Chad McClanahan singled to load the bases, and David Fry then reached on a fielders choice with no out recorded, keeping the bases loaded while scoring Coca. Castillo then brought home another on a sacrifice fly, making it 4-0 Brewers.
Budnick ran into trouble in the eighth, as the first three reached on singles, with the first run scoring on a Steele Walker single that moved a runner to third. Lenyn Sosa's ground out scored the second run, but moved Walker to second, and bringing the tying run to the plate with one out. Budnick then punched out Logan Sowers, and with Gonzalez up, Walker tried to steal third, but was thrown out by Mike Alescio to end the inning.
Michael Mediavilla came on for the ninth, and after a leadoff single from Gonzalez, the tying run reached on a walk to Ryan Fitzpatrick. Nunez grounded out to short for the second out, but both runners moved into scoring position. It proved to be a moot point, as Jhoandro Alfaro grounded out to third, ending the game and giving Mediavilla his first save.
Tomorrow Helena returns to Centene Stadium for a Saturday night showdown with the Voyagers, as Scott Sunitsch takes the hill, opposed by Jason Bilous for Great Falls. First pitch is at 7 PM, with the pregame show hitting the airwaves of helenabrewers.net at 6:40.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.