Dallas Carroll has been hot in the box this season.
On Tuesday night against the Great Falls Voyagers -- the thorn in the Brewers’ side so far -- Carroll got hotter.
Carroll slapped a grounder in the bottom of the 10th inning, and a throwing error brought in the walk-off run as the Brewers (3-6) took down the Voyagers (6-3) 5-4 on Monday night at Kindrick Legion Field.
“Basically, when he get first base I know Dallas is one of my best hitters,” Brewers manager Nestor Corredor said. “I want to take a chance, we just need one run. I give him one pitch to see what happened. It happened to be the right pitch. I said, 'I don’t care how you do it, just move the guy and bring it in.' He did great.”
The Brewers had built a 3-0 lead early behind a Zach Clark three-run shot over the fence and a solid outing by Michael Peterson (0-0) on the mound.
Peterson made quick work of the first inning, putting the top of the Voyagers batting order away.
Adam Panayotovich (0-0) responded in kind, generating three quick outs on eight pitches, all for strikes to begin the game.
Brent Diaz, a night after making his professional debut and doubling twice, kept his hit streak alive, hitting a line-drive single to center field, giving the Brewers their first man on base. Diaz went 1 for 4 on the night.
After Jay Feliciano broke his bat and reached first while Franklin Reyes failed to field the goofy trajectory of the hit, Zach Clark brought Diaz home.
Clark took the first pitch he saw from Panayotovich and bombed a home run into the netting over the left field wall for a three score home run.
Peterson had retired nine straight batters before his first test. He walked one and then Tate Blackman laid a sacrifice bunt before Craig Dedelow doubled on a line drive that ricocheted off the left field wall.
A man on second and third, and one out, Peterson went to work.
Peterson faced Anthony Villa, who had 11 of 25 hits going into Tuesday’s contest, and blew two strikes by him to get going. Three balls later, and it looked like Peterson would surrender his first run of the season. The 6-foot-7, 220-pounder blew another strike by Villa and got the second out.
Then, Peterson got just what he needed: Another matchup with Franklin Reyes. During Reyes' first at-bat, Peterson threw him strictly curve balls, fanning the batter in the second inning. His second at-bat, another barrage of curves. Peterson once again fooled Reyes and struck out the batter to end the Voyagers threat in the top of the fourth.
Almost as if to say, 'Anything you can do, we can do better,' the Brewers put two runners on with one out, and then capitalized when Nic Pierre flared a hit to right-center field, driving in the Brewers' fourth run of the night. Pierre went 2 of 4 on the evening.
Justin Yurchak led off for the Voyagers in the fifth inning, and saw five pitches, building a 2-2 count before blasting a shot off the net of right field, putting the Voyagers on the board, trailing 4-1.
Peterson lost some control on his pitching in the first few at-bats, prompting a visit from pitching coach and trainer after issuing a walk to Jacob Cooper. After the pause, Felix Mercedes singled, and then Max Dutto grounded out, but brought in the Voyagers' second run while doing so.
Another walk and Peterson’s night was over. It appeared the only thing that could interrupt the deliberate, cool pitching from Peterson was Peterson. One out shy of being win-eligible, Peterson was good again. He gave up three hits and two earned runs while striking out six and walking three and giving up one home run. Most of that damage came after Peterson appeared to be laboring.
“I just see something different in that inning so I just send the trainer in to make sure he was OK,” Corredor said. “He’s fine.”
Brandon Texiera came in with two outs in the bottom of the fifth.
Texiera drew a pop out from Dedelow and the Brewers held a 4-2 lead going into the bottom of the fifth.
The Voyagers drew blood from Texiera in the next inning. Villa and Reyes both singled, and then a wild pitch pitch save each runner another base.
Yurchak, who started the Voyager scoring in the fifth with a solo shot, scored two more with a shot to center field, tying the game at 4. Yurchak finished 3 of 5 on the night, bringing in three RBIs.
Yurchak was caught stealing home and then Texiera was awarded a strike out to get out of the inning.
The Brewers left a man on third base in the bottom of the inning, unable to find the clutch hit that could have reclaimed the lead.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Brewers again stranded two runners.
Adam Panayotovich (0-0) started one game, pitched six innings and gave up three hits and one earned one, while walking one and striking out five.
Voyagers manager Tim Esmay took exception to a called tag-out that ended a scoring threat in the eighth inning. The Voyagers had two men on when Felix Mercedes hit a ground ball to third baseman Dallas Carroll, who relayed slightly off the mark to first. The play caused Gabriel Garcia to leap, fully extend, corral the ball and then tag Mercedes.
Mercedes disputed that he was actually tagged, and Esmay agreed.
Esmay confronted umpire Tyler Johnson and demonstrably argued his case, waving his arms until the point of his ejection.
Texiera had two outs and a man on first, but back-to-back wild pitches moved the go-ahead run to third in the top of the ninth. Texiera walked Villa, and his night was over. He finished with 2 and 1/3 innings pitched, giving up two hits while striking out three and walking two.
Juan Diaz came in to try to save the inning.
Diaz got a ground-out, leaving two Voyagers on. Diaz (1-0), through an 1 1/3 innings received the win after he struck out one and walked one.
Tyler Johnson had entered the game in eighth inning, and in the ninth inning, he fanned the first two batters he faced.
Payton Henry pinch hit to lead off the batting order for the Brewers in the ninth, replacing catcher Charlie Meyer. Henry battled to a full count, but struck out.
Blake Battenfield entered the game for the Voyagers in the bottom of the 10th.
Roscetti bunted in the leadoff spot, and it could not been placed much better as the ball trickled down the third-base line.
A wild pitch moved Roscetti to second base.
The Voyagers pinched the infield in, suspecting another bunt. Carroll would bunt and initially appeared to lay another great bunt down the third-base line, but spilled out of play.
A few pitches later, Carroll smacked the game-winning hit, to wrap up his 2 of 5 night.
The Brewers had previously not scored in the eighth inning or later this season. The latest the Brewers had scored against the Voyagers was in the seventh inning in the third game of the season, an 8-7 loss in which the Brewers blew 4-0 and 6-2 leads. That changed on Tuesday.
“That means the players understand that they need to lock in for 27 outs or nine innings,” Corredor said. “There was a good energy in the dugout and thank goodness, because the bullpen and the pitchers did great, so we needed that run late.”
The Brewers are back in action on Wednesday against the Voyagers. Karsen Lindell will be on the mound for Helena and will face Kyle Von Ruden. The game starts at 7:05 p.m.