GJ’s All-Stars shine in win

Great Falls shortstop Zach Voight, 11, turns a double play Saturday night over Grand Junction base runner Ashley Graeter in the first inning.

GREAT FALLS, Mont. — Before Saturday night’s game, David Dahl was selected the Most Valuable Player of the Pioneer League, and Eddie Butler and Scott Oberg made to the league’s All-Star team.

When the game finished, the three had combined to help the Rockies to a 7-4 victory over the Voyagers.

Dahl went 4 for 4 at the plate, Butler earned his seventh win and Oberg picked up his 12th save as the Rockies improved to 36-28, 15-11 in the second half.

In the four-game series in Helena, the Rockies did not have a base runner in the first inning. Saturday night, the first three batters reached base in the first, leading to a three-run inning that was capped by a Wilfredo Rodriguez two-run single.

Jason Stolz added to the lead in the second inning with a solo home run, his first of the season, giving Grand Junction a 4-0 lead.

“Our bats set the tone tonight,” Rockies manager Tony Diaz said. “It makes the game a lot easier when you are playing with a lead early.”

That was plenty for Butler, who ran his record to 7-1. In 6 2/3 innings, he allowed three hits and one unearned run, which the Voyagers scored in the fourth. He left with two on in the bottom of the seventh, but Patrick Johnson struck out Dustin Hayes to end the threat.

“Butler pitched like an ace,” Diaz said. “He attacked the entire outing, which you love to see when you have a lead.”

Grand Junction made it 7-1 with three runs in the seventh inning, but then things got a little too interesting for Diaz.

Great Falls scored three runs in the eighth inning and had the bases loaded, but Oberg struck out Hayes to end the threat.

In the ninth, the Voyagers had the tying run at the plate, but Oberg struck out Kyle Robinson to end the game.

Carl Thomore played for the first time since June 27 and singled once in three at-bats, and he scored a run.


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