Jose Gomez Homers Twice to Lead Helena Onslaught, 11-1
The Helena Brewers took on the Missoula Osprey Saturday night, the first contest between these two teams in 2017. For four-innings this was a scoreless ballgame, but Helena would score 11-runs over the next three-innings to blow this game open and down the Osprey 11-1. Jose Gomez had the big bat in the game, clubbing two-home runs and driving in 5, and Nelson Hernandez moved to 2-0 with five solid innings
Kai-Wei Lin started for Missoula looking for his first win of the season, and he pitched well through the first four frames, allowing a hit and 2-walks during that span. However, in the fifth, the Brewers would take the lead.
Gomez led off the inning by lining a home run over the left field wall, his first of the season. Antonio Pinero followed by laying down a perfect bunt that he beat out for a single. Nick Roscetti grounded to short in what looked like a sure double-play ball, but Ryan Grotjohn threw the ball away allowing both runners to move into scoring position. Two batters later Dallas Carroll lined a single into center to score both Roscetti and Pinero and Helena was up by three. Brent Diaz followed with a single that moved Carroll to third, but he was then thrown out trying to steal second. With two down and a runner at third, Gabriel Garcia hit his second home run of the season, a shot over the left field wall to make it 5-0.
Missoula got one of those runs back in the bottom half of the inning. Keshawn Lynch and Luis Lara started out the inning with back-to-back singles. A wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position and Andy Yerzy plated Lynch with a ground out.
The Helena Brewers responded with two-runs in the sixth to extend their lead to six. Jeff Bain came onto pitch for the Osprey. Zach Clark greeted the reliever with a shot to the right field wall that he legged into a triple. Two batters later, Pinero delivered a sacrifice fly. Next up was Roscetti, who grounded to third. Joey Rose threw to first but the ball was wild and went up the line, allowing Roscetti to come all the way around to score. That made it 7-1.
In the seventh, the Brewers blew this game open. Gabe Gonzalez came on and hit Brent Diaz to start the frame. Garcia singled before Clark walked to load the bases. That brought Gomez to the plate, who drilled his second home run of the game over the left-center field wall. The grand slam made it 11-1, which was the final.
Nick Hernandez (2-0) pitched really well for Helena, going 5-innings, allowing 7-hits and a run. He struck out one in lowering his ERA to 2.81. From there the Brewers bullpen allowed just one-hit over the final four-innings of the game. Roberto Delgado tossed two scoreless innings, and Braulio Ortiz and Parker Bean each tossed a scoreless frame.
Jose Gomez finished the game 3-5 with 2-runs and 5-RBI. Gabriel Garcia was 2-3 with 2-runs and 2-RBI. Nick Roscetti and Zach Clark each scored 2-runs and Dallas Carroll drove in 2. The Osprey were led by Francis Martinez, who had 3-hits.
These two teams will face off again on Sunday. Michael Peterson (0-0, 1.69) starts for Helena. He will be opposed by Brady Muller (0-0, 10.61). First pitch is set for 5:15.
By Robert Pannier