Call it a rough patch in an otherwise glorious season for the Missoula PaddleHeads.
Zootown’s Pioneer League pro baseball team dropped the first game of a six-game series against Glacier Tuesday, 9-2, at Flathead Field in Kalispell. It marked Missoula’s third loss in five games — a rare occurrence considering the team has gone 17-6 in July and boasts a gaudy overall mark of 39-15.
Glacier (18-35 overall, 2-5 second half) scored all the runs its needed in the third inning, piling up three. PaddleHeads starting pitcher Austen Seidel surrendered a bases-loaded double to Brandt Broussard that scored all three.
Seidel (3-1) took his first loss as a pro. The 24-year-old Texan allowed eight runs on nine hits with two walks and three strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings of work. Dan Swain and newcomer Connor Schultz pitched well in relief, but by then the damage was done.
Missoula cut its deficit to 3-2 with a pair of runs in the third on RBI singles by Brandon Riley and Lamar Sparks. But Glacier answered with four runs in the bottom half, three scoring on a home run by catcher Drew Sims, who just signed a contract with the Range Riders earlier this week after playing his college ball at Utah Valley.
Glacier finished with 11 hits to five for Missoula. All five of the PaddleHeads’ hits were singles.
Tanner Solomon (1-3) picked up his first win for the Range Riders. He pitched the first six frames, allowing two runs on four hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Drew Holweger, John Tyler and Austin Steinfort all pitched a scoreless inning in relief.
Missoula won the North Division first-half title. The team is 4-3 in the second half.
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