As their season winds down, the Brewers keep looking for a final win or two.
They didn’t find it on Thursday.
Helena fell 8-3 to the Billings Mustangs in the Magic City, losing their second game in Billings in as many nights.
The Brewers opened up the scoring in the top of the second inning. Jose Gomez hit a RBI single on a ground ball to left field. Nic Pierre followed that up with a RBI single, and the Brewers owned a 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the third, the Mustangs tied it up. Raul Wallace hit a two-RBI double, and the Mustangs began their surge.
After a scoreless fourth inning, Wallace did it again. He cranked a two-run homer and gave the Mustangs a lead. Mark Kolozsvary hit a RBI single and Alejo Lopez hit a sacrifice fly to bring in another run. Pabel Manzanero singled to score another and Billings went up 7-2.
The Mustangs padded their total in the bottom of the sixth. Montrell Marshall hit a RBI double.
The Brewers got one back in the top of the seventh when Payton Henry hit a sacrifice fly to score one.
It was the last score of the evening.
A night after the Brewers were held to just four hits, Helena finished with five on Thursday. Pierre was the only Brewer to record more than one hit, going 2 for 4.
Billings racked up 10 hits, led by Wallace’s 3 for 5 outing for four RBIs.
Helena platooned three pitchers on Thursday. Brandon Texiera came in relief of starter Alec Bettinger and took the loss. Texiera (0-2) pitched two innings and gave up four hits, five earned runs, walked three and struck out one.
With the win, Billings is a half-game behind Great Falls, and 1 1/2 games behind Missoula. Since Missoula won the first half of the season, Billings could seal a playoff spot if Great Falls doesn’t overtake Missoula. Billings overall record would give it a wild card berth. If Great Falls is able to tie Missoula for the top spot, the Voyagers would make the playoffs.
Helena plays its final two games in Billings, with the next game scheduled for 7:05 on Friday.
-- Erik C. Anderson