The 10/10 Club -- reaching double digits in home runs and stolen bases -- isn’t an exclusive one in the Pioneer League. Still, it’s rarified air.
The Mustangs got three-run home runs from two of Cincinnati’s best rookie prospects. Then they said goodbye to maybe its best.
Dane Stone’s command made him one of the Pioneer League’s strongest pitchers in the first half of the season, and he carried that dominance into the second half as Great Falls shut out the Mustangs at Dehler Park.
Call it new life, renewed hope or a reboot. By any name, the Pioneer League’s split-season format means a second chance for 75 percent of the teams.
The Mustangs’ charter rolled into Dehler Park sometime around 7:30 Wednesday morning, ending the eight-day, seven-game road trip that took them through Idaho Falls and Ogden.
Just 24 hours after he’d spun the best pitching performance of his professional career, the Mustangs’ Tyler Mahle was already looking forward to his next start.
Brian O’Grady strode to the plate in the ninth inning Friday against Idaho Falls representing the tying run in a 6-4 game. Two innings earlier O’Grady launched a pinch-hit solo home run deep over the right field wall.
The good news for the Mustangs is that Ryan O’Hearn, Wander Franco and Idaho Falls have left town. The better news is that third baseman Taylor Sparks might be coming into his own just nine games into his first professional season.
Ryan O’Hearn nearly took off Luke Moran’s head with a liner up the middle in the first inning. Three innings later O’Hearn took Moran deep.
Kevin Franklin led off the bottom of the ninth swinging freely. He tried to hit the first pitch he saw over the Rims but missed. Later in the at-bat he flailed at strike three in the dirt.
If there’s one constant in the Pioneer League, it’s that hitters sit on fastballs.
Here’s an intriguing bit of Mustangs trivia: Dick Schofield is the second member of the anguished 1986 California Angels to manage in Billings. The other? Rick Burleson, who helmed the team from 2001-03 and again from 2005-06.
The Mustangs were one out from finishing their first error-free game in six nights when shortstop Alex Blandino misfired to first on a routine grounder in the ninth.
The mantra from first-year Mustangs manager Dick Schofield is that consistency will come and go for his team.
Though the Mustangs absorbed a pretty good drubbing Friday night, manager Dick Schofield found a silver lining. Even if it was a sarcastic one.
Corey Thompson played 56 professional baseball games before he made his first start at second base Thursday night. It was a bit of an adventure.
Pitchers have been doctoring baseballs to gain an advantage over hitters for well over 100 years. Some get caught, most don’t.
On a night when the Mustangs’ lineup was scattered with teenagers, a couple “veterans” helped lead the way.
Ty Washington was a nomad of sorts last season.
The downpour began around 3:30 p.m. Monday afternoon, drenching Dehler Park without apology, seeming not the least bit interested in the Mustangs and the hoopla surrounding opening night.