Highlights from Opening Day of the 2016 baseball season between the Helena Brewers and the Great Falls Voyagers. The Brewers won 6-4 to take home the team's first win of the season.
The Helena Brewers exploded for five runs in the bottom of the fourth, en route to an opening night 6-4 victory over the Great Falls Voyagers on Friday night at Kindrick Legion Field.
Kept in check by Voyagers starter Max Beatty (0-1) through the first three innings, the Helena bats erased a 2-0 deficit with five hits - including three doubles and a two run home run - the second time through the lineup. Catcher Charles Galiano punctuated the big fourth inning with a two-run opposite field blast - the Brewers first home run of the 2016 season.
Juan Ortiz led all Brewers hitters with a three hit, two double, two RBI performance, and the pitching trio of Gentry Fortuno, Shawn Clowers and Colton Cross made it all stand up.
Fortuno worked his way in and out of trouble through his four inning start, and Clowers (1-0) earned the victory after allowing just one earned run in three innings of work.
The Brewers carried a 6-4 lead into the ninth, and Cross fired up the opening night crowd of 1,559 by striking out the side in order to record his first save of the season.
Helena will look to move to 2-0 on the young season when they welcome the Voyagers back for Saturday night's 7:05 affair. Jordan Desguin will toe the rubber for the Brewers and Yosmer Solarzano will take the ball for Great Falls.
Courtesy Helena Brewers
The Voyagers jumped out to an early two-run lead before a five-run fourth inning vaulted the Brewers to a 6-4 victory in the Pioneer League season opener Friday night at Kindrick Legion Field.
Great Falls (0-1) opened the scoring with the season’s first run in the second. Casey Schroeder reached with a one-out double into the right field corner. Brady Conlan followed with a single to left. The next batter, Sam Dexter, drove home Schroeder with a double up the right field line as well. In the same inning, the bases were loaded with one out but an inning-ending double play halted the rally. The Voyagers added to the lead with a tally in the third. With two outs, Aaron Schnurbusch coaxed a walk and then stole second. Nate Nolan made it 2-0 with a base hit to center.
After three scoreless innings to start the game, Helena (1-0) broke through in a big way. The Brewers plated five runs in a difference-making fourth. With one out, Gilbert Lara lined a single to right. A double by Juan Ortiz put runners at second and third. Yeraldy Martinez then tied the game with a double to deep-center that hopped up against the wall for a 2-2 tie. A two-out RBI double from Nathan Rodriguez scored Martinez to give Helena its first lead of the night. Charles Galiano capped the inning with a two-run home run to right-center for a 5-2 advantage.
In the fifth, the Brewers extended the lead to 6-2 with an RBI single from Juan Ortiz. The Voyagers inched closer with single marks in the sixth and seventh innings. Aaron Schnurbusch reached base leading off the sixth on an error by the shortstop. Schnurbusch later moved up to second and scored on a two-out single to left by Brady Conlan. In the seventh, Alex Call lined a one-out single to right. Jameson Fisher followed with a base knock to center. In his first at bat of the game, Anthony Villa brought home Call with a single to right.
On the mound, Shawn Clowers posted the win in relief for Helena. Clowers (1-0) worked three innings and allowed two runs (one earned) on six hits with three strikeouts. Max Beatty took the loss for Great Falls. Beatty (0-1) faced just one over the minimum through the first three innings. He lasted five and gave up six runs (all earned) on nine hits with five strikeouts and no walks. Colton Cross earned the save for the Brewers. Cross pitched the final two innings and struck out four, including the side in the ninth.
The Voyagers outhit the Brewers 11-to-10 but stranded eight base runners. Alex Call finished 2-for-5 with a run scored. Jameson Fisher, Brady Conlan, and Sam Dexter all had two-hit games for the Voyagers. Juan Ortiz led Helena with three hits (two doubles) and drove in a run. Gilbert Lara had two singles and two runs scored.
Great Falls continues its season-opening four-game series at Helena Saturday night at 7:05. The Voyagers six-game road trip to start the season concludes with a two-game set at Missoula Tuesday and Wednesday next week. The home opener is scheduled for June 23rd at Centene Stadium against Helena. For ticket information, visit www.gfvoyagers.com or call 406-452-5311.
Courtesy Great Falls Voyagers