Missoula PaddleHeads logo

Jayson Newman smacked a grand slam in helping the Missoula PaddleHeads build a big lead and they held on for a 12-9 win over the Great Falls Voyagers Thursday at Ogren-Allegiance Park.

With the win, the PaddleHeads boosted their league-best record to 59-30. The Northern Division first-half champions also maintained their one-game lead over Billings atop the standings in the second-half race. The PaddleHeads are 24-17 and the Mustangs are 23-18.

After spotting Great Falls (38-51) a 2-0 lead in the first inning, Missoula hit its stride at the plate in the second inning. It started a string of five straight innings in which the hosts scored.

Jared Akins knotted the score up at 2-2 in the second on a two-out, two-RBI single to right. Missoula seized the lead in the third on a Cameron Thompson solo home run. Chris Eusay added a solo homer in the fourth.

Missoula exploded for seven runs in the fifth, four coming on Newman's grand slam over the left field wall that gave his team an 11-2 edge. The 6-foot-4, 280-pound Newman finished 2 for 4 with five RBIs.

Missoula pitcher Palmer Wenzel was solid in his first start in the Garden City. The Texas native allowed only two runs over six innings and earned his second win in as many starts.

The Voyagers did make things interesting, however, when Wenzel departed. They put together a seven-run rally in the seventh inning to cut the Missoula lead to 12-9. 

Missoula reliever Matt Mogollon came on and came through, recording the final out of the inning with the bases loaded. Mogollon went the rest of the way, allowing no runs on three hits while striking out two to earn the save in 2 1/3 innings of work. The Cal Baptist product has allowed only one run over his 15 1/3 innings.

Missoula hosted Great Falls again Friday night. To find out what happened, log on to missoulian.com on Saturday morning. 

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