Range Riders Win a Wild Home Opener Over Mustangs

Flathead's Pioneer League baseball team overcame a nine-run deficit to win first home game of the season

By Beacon Staff
Beacon file photo

Three innings into the Glacier Range Riders’ first home game of the season Tuesday night, the Flathead team was down 8-0 to the Billings Mustangs. Three innings later the Ranger Riders were facing a 12-3 deficit, but the fans that stuck around Glacier Bank Park through the end of the ninth about witness an epic comeback.

After trailing by nine, the Range Riders scored 10 unanswered runs with two straight four-run innings and a walk-off hit from the bat of Crews Taylor.

Billings (3-4) opened up the scoring in the first inning with three runs, and added another five in the third. The Mustangs held Glacier (3-2) scoreless until the bottom of the third when Dean Miller hit a ball to right field, bringing Ben McConnell across the plate to put the Range Riders on the board.

After the Range Riders closed the gap, the teams entered the ninth inning tied at a dozen runs.

Glacier pitcher John Natoli walked the first batter, but after a strikeout and a 6-4-3 double play, Glacier had a chance to pull off the victory. Pinch runner Mason Dinesen made it across home plate on a hit by Taylor, giving Glacier a second straight win and a bump to the top of the league standings.

Ben Fitzgerald launched the only home run for Glacier in the sixth inning. The Range Riders totaled 13 hits. Howell, Liniak, Raper, and Clayton all had two hits.

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