Missoula, MT.- The Missoula PaddleHeads took on the Boise Hawks in game 1 of the Pioneer League Championship Series on Monday night from the Garden City. The night began with both teams lined up on both baselines with the league championship trophy on display. This set the tone for the
Missoula, MT.- The Missoula PaddleHeads took on the Boise Hawks in game 1 of the Pioneer League Championship Series on Monday night from the Garden City. The night began with both teams lined up on both baselines with the league championship trophy on display. This set the tone for the evening as both teams entered the night 2 wins away from a Pioneer League Championship. Missoula defended its home field well all season long finishing with a 35-14 record at home during the regular season. The PaddleHeads made sure they would give the home fans plenty to cheer about in their final home appearance of 2021.
After the game stayed tight for much of the night, Missoula would finally pull away in the seventh, and eighth scoring 6 unanswered runs down the stretch in an 8-2 victory over Boise. The win for the PaddleHeads gives them a 1-0 lead in the best of 3 series. It also means that Missoula is 1 win away from a Pioneer League crown.
The PaddleHeads jumped on the board in the third, and fourth innings scoring 1 in each frame. A.J. Wright would get Missoula on the board first with an RBI single to right center field in the third. Later in the fourth, Jayson Newman would lead off the frame with a towering 435-foot blast to left field that made the score 2-0. Newman would finish the game 1-for- 4 and Wright was 2-for-4.
Palmer Wenzel would keep the Hawks at bay for much of the night on the hill. The former Longhorn would not allow a single hit until the sixth allowing 2 runs while striking out 5. Despite the solid outing from Wenzel, Boise was able to tie the game at two in the sixth thanks to doubles from Tyler Jorgensen, Myles Miller, and Alejandro Rivero. That would be all offensively for Boise however who would be shut down the rest of the way.
Mark Simon would not allow a run over 2 1/3 innings earning the win on the mound. Simon would do well to work out of a jam in the eighth when the inning began with two runners reaching base on a double, and infield single. Simon would navigate his way out of the jam thanks to a double play and strike out with no damage done. The PaddleHeads offense would do the rest putting the lead out of reach down the stretch.
Cameron Thompson would give Missoula the lead back for good in the seventh on a two-run blast to right field that made the score 4-2. Thompson would strike again in the next frame grounding a single through the left side of the infield scoring a pair to highlight a 4-run rally. Thompson would finish the night 2-for-4 with 4 RBIs.
With the victory, Boise’s back is now up against the wall needing to win in game 2 to keep their season alive. The series will now also shift to Memorial Stadium for game 2 which is set to begin on Wednesday evening. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Hear all the action on ESPN Missoula 102.9 F.M.
All games can be streamed live on PBLnetwork.com.