Editor's note: Billings Mustangs release.
GREAT FALLS-The Billings Mustangs put together one of the greatest offensive performances in franchise history with two grand slams, three five-RBI games, and three four-hit efforts in a 26-3 shellacking of the Great Falls Voyagers on Sunday afternoon at Centene Stadium.
The Mustangs (11-10) cracked the 20-run plateau for the first time in over 15 years and secured a 4-2 road trip, taking two of three from Great Falls (15-9).
Billings pulled in front by scoring in the top of the first for the sixth time in as many games on the current road trip. Great Falls starter Tyler Naumann retired the first two batters, but Jalen Garcia and Gabe Wurtz stroked back-to-back doubles into the left field corner to give the Mustangs a 1-0 lead.
In the second, the Mustangs tacked on two more. Jackson Raper reached on a two-base fielding error to begin the inning, moved to third on a passed ball, and scored on a double down the left field line to bring in a run. After a groundout advanced him to third, a wild pitch from Naumann allowed Pacheco to scamper home with the third Mustang run.
Great Falls answered in the second as Derek Kolbush and Eddie McCabe lined consecutive doubles to begin the inning. However, despite expending 30 pitches in the inning, Mustang starter Yasnier Laureano worked out of the inning with no further damage.
The scored stayed at 3-1 until the Mustangs broke things open in the fifth. With one out, the Mustangs strung together four straight hits to score twice and chase Naumann. Against Brad Demco, the Mustangs loaded the bases with two outs, then drew consecutive bases-loaded walks. Mason Dinesen threw lined a two-run single to left before Jordan Hovey and Garcia finished off the inning with RBI knocks. When the dust settled, Billings had scored eight times and led 11-1.
Great Falls scored a run in the fifth, but Laureano induced a double play to thwart a meaningful comeback effort. The Mustangs then went to work extending the lead.
In the seventh, four runs came across, with a two-run triple by Dinesen providing the big blow. In the eight, the Mustangs loaded the bases for Wurtz, who crushed a grand slam over the wall in right-center, extending the lead to 19-2.
After a Great Falls run in the eighth, the Mustangs then battered around McCabe, who finished the game on the mound for the Voyagers. Seven runs scored in the ninth inning, with Garcia capping off a 13-hit series with a grand slam to left-center, putting the bow on top of a 26-3 win.
Garcia had four hits, a grand slam, and six RBI, while Wurtz had four hits, a slam of his own, and finished a triple shy of the cycle with five RBI. Dinesen drove in five runs on three hits, while Hovey rapped out four hits as well.
The Mustangs will then head to Missoula to take on the Paddleheads in a makeup game Monday afternoon before returning home Tuesday. RHP Logan Dubbe (0-1, 9.00) goes for the Mustangs while Missoula counters with LHP Rafael Monsion (1-1, 5.63). Pregame on Tuesday will begin at 6:15 p.m. on ESPN 910/105.5 with Brennan Mense on the call ahead of a 6:35 first pitch at Dehler Park.