Missoula, MT. – After coming away with victories in dominating fashion throughout the week against the Boise Hawks, the Missoula PaddleHeads would find themselves locked in a tight battle on Sunday. After falling behind 5-0 in the early going, Missoula would chip into the deficit as the game would go
Missoula, MT. – After coming away with victories in dominating fashion throughout the week against the Boise Hawks, the Missoula PaddleHeads would find themselves locked in a tight battle on Sunday. After falling behind 5-0 in the early going, Missoula would chip into the deficit as the game would go tying the game at six with a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh. The game would remain tied after nine innings of regulation which brought to fruition a new scenario that had never been seen in Missoula before. Per the new Pioneer League rules, the game would not be decided in extra innings, but in a home run ‘Knock Out.”
Two batters from both clubs stepped into the box looking to give their team a win. Christian Funk of the Hawks had the first shot at it, and failed to get a ball out of the park setting it up for outfielder Jared Akins of Missoula. After using four of his allowed five swings, Akins would come through launching a towing drive over the right field wall to give the PaddleHeads the victory.
This situation was a unique one for the fans, players, and everyone involved as Western Montana was able to witness these new Pioneer League rules in person for the first time. Akins enjoyed the moment, and was happy he could come through for the hometown fans.
“I figured when the game ended in a tie that I was going to get the call,” Akins said. “I just needed to pull the ball over that right field fence. It was very new and fun. It was something that I have never been a part of, or thought could happen. Being a part of it was crazy. It was awesome to get the support of my teammates, and fans cheering me on.”
The PaddleHeads put themselves in position to earn the win in the knockout be erasing an early deficit in innings five through seven. Missoula would score five unanswered runs over those innings. Akins would tie the game seventh on an infield single and would finish 1-for-3.
The work by the bullpen would also be an important factor after falling into the early hole. Over seven innings combined, the pen would only allow one run, on four hits. Matt Vonderschmidt stood out in 4 1/3 innings allowing one run on three hits while striking out four.
Missoula (12-2) will look to make it six in a row against the Hawks (3-11) on Monday in the series finale. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Hear the game on ESPN Missoula 102.9 F.M.
With the PaddleHeads season now underway, our ‘Adopt A PaddleHead’ host family program is still in need of families that would potentially be in interested in housing a player or coach for the 2021 season. Families are encouraged to contact the front office at (406) 543- 3300 with any questions. To apply for our host family program please email [email protected].
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