The Missoula PaddleHeads boosted their record to 8-2 on Wednesday night with a 16-0 blowout win over the Boise Hawks at Memorial Stadium.
Andrew Bash was the hero on the hill for Missoula. The first-year professional from Palm Desert, California, logged eight shutout innings. He struck out nine without issuing a walk in earning his first pro win.
Missoula wasted no time getting on the board as Nick Gatewood and Zac Almond both drove in runs to kick start the offense in the first inning.
It was just the beginning of a scoring onslaught for the PaddleHeads, who entered Thursday's game leading the Pioneer League Northern Division by three games. The trio of Gatewood, Almond and Luke Navigato piled up 10 hits combined with nine RBIs and eight runs scored. Gatewood led the charge, finishing 4 for 6 with five RBIs and two runs scored.
Missoula broke the game open in the ninth inning, putting 10 runs on the board, a new season high. Fifteen batters came to the plate and 10 hits were recorded.
Six Missoula batters finished with multiple hits in the game. The PaddleHeads have scored at least 10 runs in six games this season.
Missoula will try to ensure it will finish its six-game road swing with a winning record on Thursday night in Game 2 of its series at Boise (3-7). The PaddleHeads will send Andy Toelken to the mound. He will try build on his last start when he earned his first win of the season.
In other PaddleHeads news, the team has lost one of its top sluggers, Matt Warkentin. The Chicago Cubs purchased the first baseman's contract.
"After the Pioneer League’s restructure to an MLB Partner League, this transaction proves that we are still a player development league, and that baseball should take note of the quality of athletes who take the field night in, and night out in the PBL,” PaddleHeads vice president Matt Ellis said.