Friday, July 19, 2024

Range Riders erupt for 18 runs

by Daily Inter Lake
| July 7, 2024 12:00 AM

The Range Riders won their fourth-straight game and collected 11 extra-base hits en route to a convincing 18-7 win over the Great Falls Voyagers at Glacier Bank Park.

The ball was jumping off the bats Sunday afternoon, as the Range Riders opened the game with five straight hits and scored five runs in the first inning. 

They tacked on four more in the fourth and three more in the fifth, highlighted by a pair of Chad Castillo doubles that scored three. Castillo finished the day going 3-for-5 with three doubles and five runs driven in. 

The Range Riders’ Gabe Howell continued his hot streak out of the leadoff spot, going 4-for-6 with three doubles, three RBIs and four runs scored. It was his third straight multi-hit game. 

With a 12-5 lead heading into the bottom of the 8th, the Voyagers elected to bring in position player Frank Podkul to close out the game. The Range Riders jumped all over him with home runs from Ajay Sczepkowski, Freddy Guilamo and Andy Atwood.  

“I am just trying to go out there and play the same game I have played since I was four years old,” Sczepkowski said. “Although it is new to me playing every day in the Pioneer League, I feel like I have made that adjustment and things are going to start rolling for me.” 

This was the final home series of the first half of the season for the Range Riders, as they head to Boise for a critical six-game series with a playoff berth at stake. With the Missoula PaddleHeads already locked into the first seed, the Range Riders hold a two-game lead for the final first half playoff spot.  

The Range Riders finished last season with the second-best record in the Pioneer League, but since they didn’t win any of the two half's they didn't qualify for the playoffs. While they are excited about the possibility of clinching a spot, they are trying not to look too far ahead. 

“We just have to keep doing us,” Howell said.  “If we focus on us, one pitch at a time and do what we do than we should have no problem securing that playoff spot.” 

G. FALLS    010    013    002   —     7    12    2 

GLACIER    500    430    06x   —    18    20    0 

Matthew Hickey (3), Carter Gannaway (5), Braden Forstyh (6), Dayan Reinoso (7), Frank Podkul (8) and Antonio Fernandez. Cullen Kafka (5), Aidan McEvoy (6), Montana Quiqley (8), Jack Lynch (9) and Freddy Guilamo. 

GREAT FALLS VOYAGERS – Oscar Serratos Jr. 2-3, Xane Washington 1-5, Mahki Backstrom 1-4, Hylan Hall 2-5, Hernan Yanez 2-4, Jack Lynch 2-4, Freddy Rojas Jr. 0-3, Kody Putnam 1-4, Antonio Fernandez 1-4. 

GLACIER RANGE RIDERS – Gabe Howell 4-6, Andy Atwood 3-5, Christian Kirtley 1-5, Chad Castillo 3-5, Ajay Sczepkowski 2-4, Nick Block 1-3, Nick Gore 1-1, Jerry Huntzinger 1-2, Gavin Tonkel 0-2, Freddy Guilamo 2-5, JD McLaughlin 2-4. 

2B – Huntzinger, McLaughlin, Castillo 3, Howell 3. HR – Lynch (6), Washington (5), Yanez (2).  Atwood (7), Guilamo (3), Sczepkowski (3).    RBIs – Fernandez, Yanez, Lynch 2, Washington 3.  Atwood 2, Block 2, Guilamo 3, Sczepkowski 3, Howell 3, Castillo 5.