GREAT FALLS, Mont. (July 4, 2014) - The Great Falls Voyagers could not hold a late lead, surrendering four runs over the final two frames to fall 5-3 to the Helena Brewers Friday night at Centene Stadium.
The Voyagers (10-9) led 3-1 heading into the eighth, but things turned around quickly for the home team in that frame. Helena (8-10) started the inning with back-to-back singles, putting the tying runs aboard. A wild pitch and fielder's choice brought a pair home to tie the game, and then an error allowed the go-ahead run to score for the Brewers against Connor Walsh (1-1).
Helena added an insurance run in the ninth, and Great Falls then went down in order against reliever Luke Curtis in the bottom of the frame, earning the righty his second save.
Just as they did on Thursday, the Brewers scored the first run of the contest just four batters into the game. That was all they could muster against Voyager starter Dane Stone who followed up his first quality start of the year with another excellent outing.
The righty recorded a career-high in strikeouts for the second straight outing, whiffing 10 Brewers in seven frames of work. Stone allowed just the one run on four hits in those seven frames, and retired the final 11 he faced.
The Voyagers tied the game at one in the first when Hunter Jones and Jake Peter each tripled against Helena starter Jorge Ortega, then took the lead in the second against the righty.
With runners at second and third and nobody out, Ethan Gross drove in a run with a bounce out and Ryan Jones plated another with a single, giving each their first professional RBIs.
The Great Falls offense went quiet after that, as the duo of Ortega and Wesley Cox (1-0) combined to retire 11 hitters in a row at one point. The Brewer pitching staff as a whole allowed just one base runner after the fourth, a single by Zach Fisher in the eighth.
The Voyagers will now hit the road to begin a two-game series in Missoula against the Osprey. In Saturday's series opener, Great Falls will send right-hander Brandon Brennan (0-1, 1.35) to the hill, while the Osprey will turn to fellow righty Tyler Bolton (2-0, 2.40). First pitch is set for 7:15 and coverage will begin at 7:00 on 1400 AM KXGF and gfvoyagers.com.