A ninth inning comeback by the Helena Brewers (24-42, 9-19) came up just short in a 7-6 loss to the Great Falls Voyagers (31-35, 16-12) on Wednesday night at Centene Stadium. Down 7-2 in the top of the ninth, Nicolas Pierre singled and Antonio Pinero reached on a fielder's choice,
A ninth inning comeback by the Helena Brewers (24-42, 9-19) came up just short in a 7-6 loss to the Great Falls Voyagers (31-35, 16-12) on Wednesday night at Centene Stadium.
Down 7-2 in the top of the ninth, Nicolas Pierre singled and Antonio Pinero reached on a fielder's choice, giving the Brewers pair of base runners. Following a strikeout by Kenny Corey, outfielder Tristen Lutz launched a three-run homer to left, his sixth of the season, bringing the Brewers within two runs at 7-5. KJ Harrison flew out to right field, but with two outs Gabriel Garcia hit a solo home run, his ninth of the season and second in as many nights, cutting the deficit to just one run. Chad McClanahan singled to put the tying run on base, chasing Voyagers reliever Jhoan Quijada in favor of Sean Renzi. The right-hander struck out Jay Feliciano, ending the Brewers rally.
As they've done throughout the season, Helena found a way to score in the first inning. Lutz reached on a fielding error with one out and Harrison and Garcia both walked, loading the bases. Though McClanahan struck out, Feliciano extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a single to right, driving in Lutz to give Helena a 1-0 lead.
Harrison added to the Brewers lead with one out in the third inning. The Brewers catcher greeted reliever Ryan Boelter (2-0) with a solo home run to left, Harrison's eighth of the season, to make it 2-0. Boelter settled in after the home run, not allowing another Brewers hit in his 2.2 innings.
Great Falls got a run back in the bottom of the third with a single from Nolan Brown and went ahead with a five-run bottom of the fourth. Brewers starter Karsen Lindell (2-3) surrendered two doubles, a home run and a single while also uncorking a wild pitch that let another run score in the bottom of the fourth before being lifted with two-outs. Reliever Matt Hardy allowed a single to the first batter he faced, and two runs scored on a throwing error from McClanahan, stretching Great Falls lead to 6-2.
The Brewers threatened in the top of the seventh, but left the bases loaded when Harrison struck out swinging for the final out in the top of the inning. Great Falls responded with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the frame that pushed their lead to 7-2.
Helena now returns to Kindrick Legion Field for their final home stand of the season, starting with the Great Falls Voyagers on Thursday night at 7:05 PM. The Brewers are scheduled to send RHP Gabe Friese (2-1, 5.56) to the mound against Voyagers RHP Chris Comito (2-6, 4.91). It's the last Thirsty Thursday of the season, with $2 draft beers and fountain sodas, courtesy of Gary's Auto Plaza. Tickets can be purchased at the box office, over the phone at (406)-495-0500 or online at helenabrewers.net.