Pioneer League Baseball Results and Highlights, Monday 6/16 - News, Sports and Weather

Pioneer League Baseball Results and Highlights, Monday 6/16

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Great Falls Voyagers defeat Billings Mustangs 7-4
Missoula Osprey defeat Helena Brewers 8-5

Voyagers rally late to take opener

The Great Falls Voyagers used a four-run eighth inning to come back and knock off the Billings Mustangs on Opening Night 2014, Monday at Dehler Park, earning manager Charlie Poe his first win as manager.

Trailing 4-3 entering the eighth, some shaky defense from Billings (0-1) allowed the Voyagers (1-0) back into it. With two outs, Kevin Franklin made an errant throw from third to allow Patrick Palmeiro to reach and extend the inning.

From there, Great Falls took advantage, with three straight two-out run-producing knocks. Ryan Leonards started things off with an RBI single to tie the contest at four. Following Leonards, Chevy Clarke launched an opposite field double to give the visitors a 6-4 edge, before an RBI single by Toby Thomas capped off the night's scoring.

Once Great Falls got the lead back, their bullpen did the rest. Charlie Sharrer (1-0) finished his two and a third innings of work with a scoreless eighth, then Jon Bengard tossed a perfect ninth to slam the door and earn his first save.

Early on, it was the Palmeiro show for the Voyagers, as the third baseman drove in the team's first three runs. In the third, he slugged a solo homer to tie the game at one, then followed that up with a two-run single with the bases loaded in the fourth to give the visitors their first lead at 3-1.

Great Falls starter Jeff McKenzie fell one out shy of a quality start, but was chased from the game after a two-run homer in the sixth off the bat of Aristides Aquino put the Mustangs in front at 4-3, to cap a three-run frame. Other than that inning, the southpaw pitched well, scattering five hits and striking out three in five and two-thirds.

The Voyagers and Mustangs continue this three-game series Tuesday night at Dehler Park. Left-hander Chris Freudenburg (first start) will got the nod for Great Falls, while the Mustangs will counter with righty Jeremy Kivel (first start). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. and coverage will begin at 6:50 on 1400 AM KXGF and

The Voyagers' home opener is Saturday, June 21 at 7:00 p.m. against the Billings Mustangs at Centene Stadium. For tickets to any 2014 Voyagers home game, call (406) 452-5311 or visit

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