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Top draft pick Lodolo, Billings Mustangs shut down Missoula Osprey

(Editor’s note: Mustangs media release)

BILLINGS — The Billings Mustangs (8-13) returned to Dehler Park with a 2-1 win over the Missoula Osprey (11-10) on Saturday in front of 2,987. The win snapped the four-game winning streak of the Osprey.

Both sides struggled to cross the plate in the series opener. The Mustangs picked up both of their runs in the bottom of the first.

Quin Cotton and Victor Ruiz hit back-to-back singles to start the inning. With two outs three batters later Jonathan Willems and Eric Yang strung together consecutive RBI singles to score both of Billings’ runs.

Nick Lodolo went a season-high 2 1/3 innings in the start, striking out five, giving up two hits and not allowing a run or walk. He was backed up by 5 2/3 innings of outstanding work from Omar Conoropo (3-0). It was a season-high in innings for Conoropo as well who struck out five and gave up one run on two hits.

The Osprey picked up their only run in the fourth. Tristen Carranza led off with a double and scored in the next at-bat on Spencer Brickhouse’s RBI single. Conoropo did not allow another hit in the game after the single, retiring the final seven batters he saw to punctuate the night.

Billings recorded four multi-hit games at the plate. Cotton finished 2-for-4, as did Eric Yang who added on an RBI. Willems was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI while Ruiz was 2-for-2 with a double and a run.

Francis Peguero finished off the game on the hill for the Mustangs, recording his first save of the season. The game ended on a single to right by Francis Martinez who was thrown out at first base, stranding the tying run at third for Missoula.

The Mustangs and Osprey will play in the second game of their three-game series Sunday afternoon. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m. MDT at Dehler Park.

Scott Breen

Scott Breen

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