The Billings Mustangs are Pioneer League champions for the first time since 2003. Fans might not have thought that possible during the middle of July, when on three occasions the Mustangs fell six games below .500.
Shed Long rounded third base and saw the throw from Orem’s Raul Linares bounce in the dirt at first base. And he realized the Billings Mustangs would be one win from their first Pioneer League championship since 2003.
Luke Moran stood alone holding a football in the Dehler Park outfield, waiting for somebody to join him for a little pigskin toss. It’s a common warm-up routine for pitchers, and can serve as a method to lighten the mood.
The 76-game grind is over. Now the fun begins.
The Mustangs clinched a Pioneer League playoff berth last Saturday, which rendered the balance of their regular season meaningless with respect to wins and losses.
Rain wiped out Saturday night's Pioneer League game between the Billings Mustangs and the Missoula Osprey, giving the teams a day's breather as they prepare for a last-ditch chase for the North division's final playoff spot.
The Mustangs’ Tyler Mahle and Missoula’s Gabriel Moya engaged in a good old-fashioned pitcher’s duel Friday night. It just wasn’t against each other.
The Mustangs are the quintessential .500 team. Before Wednesday’s 8-1 victory over Missoula at Dehler Park, their record was 30-30 overall -- 15-15 at home, 15-15 on the road.
The prospect was there for the Billings Mustangs to finish off a great homestand Sunday afternoon.
Billings Mustangs manager Dick Schofield stood outside his team’s Dehler Park clubhouse, extending congratulatory greetings to his players one by one as they arrived.
It seems Wyatt Strahan hardly broke a sweat in his 10th start of the season.
Brian O’Grady wasn’t about to miss his opportunity.
Home is where Luke Moran’s best outings have been. Now, after his fourth Dehler Park start, the Mustangs right-hander finally has a win to show for it.
What a relief. Mustangs right-hander Jeremy Kivel returned the mound coming out of the bullpen Monday night, marking his first appearance in the 15 days since he was shelved with a bone spur in his right elbow.
Alex Blandino heard the words every minor league player hopes to hear: “Pack your bags, son. You’ve been called up.”
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.