Veteran pitcher Kevin Hilton boosted his record to 8-0 on Thursday night in leading the Missoula PaddleHeads to a 7-3 win over the Great Falls Voyagers at Centene Stadium.
The 29-year old righty from San Diego started the game on a roll, retiring the first seven batters he faced. He located his fastball well on the outside corner and often jumped in front of Voyagers hitters in the count.
Hilton surrendered three runs in six innings of work while striking out four. With the win, he tied Austin Debusky of the Idaho Falls Chukars for the most in the Pioneer League this season.
He is 3-0 with a 3.15 ERA in three starts this season against the Voyagers. Missoula is now 10-0 this season in games started by Hilton.
PaddleHeads hitters provided more than enough run support, using home runs as their primary weapon. Nick Gatewood was first to smack a homer in the fourth inning, hitting a laser to right center field that gave his team a 2-1 advantage.
The Voyagers, who are 1-7 against the PaddleHeads this season, came back to tie but never enjoyed a lead.
Clay Fisher gave Missoula a three-run advantage in the fifth on a towering blast into center field, making the score 4-1. The former UC Santa Barbara Gaucho has three home runs over the first two games of the series against the Voyagers.
Leading by two in the ninth, Fisher gave the PaddleHeads more breathing room on a two-out, two-run double to left to make the score 7-3. He finished 3 for 5 with four RBIs. The La Quinta, California, native has recorded at least two hits in each of his last four games.
Missoula (38-15) played at Great Falls (20-33) again Friday night. To find out what happened, log on to missoulian.com on Saturday morning.