Jun. 7—BILLINGS — After a lightning delay, Gabe Howell struck twice early for the Glacier Range Riders Tuesday, in a 5-2 Pioneer League baseball victory over the Billings Mustangs.
Howell, the Glacier leadoff hitter, tripled to lead off the game and scored, then stroked a 2-run single in the second inning to give the Range Riders a 3-0 lead.
Howell also stole two bases as the Northern Division-leading Range Riders improved to 8-3, with their seventh win in eight games. He and teammate Crews Taylor share the league lead with eight steals each.
Glacier outhit the Mustangs 11-7 to back starting pitcher Noah Barros (2-0) and four relievers. Barros allowed five hits, three walks and one run in five innings, with eight strikeouts.
Roy Robles, Nathan Thomas and John Natoli each threw a scoreless inning; Robles fanned three in the seventh and Natoli worked around a walk in the ninth to notch his second save.
Catcher Matt Clayton had three hits for the Range Riders, pushing his average up to .448 through his first seven professional games. His RBI single put Glacier up 4-1 in the sixth inning, and Taylor scored the fifth run on Jackson Raper's double play grounder.
Dean Miller drove in Howell in the first; Ben Fitzgerald tripled for Glacier.
The game started an hour late because of lightning near Dehler Park. Billings fell to 3-10. The teams battle five more times before the Range Riders head to Missoula to complete a nine-game road trip.
Riders 120 001 100 — 5 11 0
Mustangs 000 011 000 — 2 7 2
Noah Barros, Connor Housley (6), Roy Robles (7), Nathan Thomas (8), John Natoli (9) and Matt Clayton. McLain Hrris, Karan Patel (3), Nate Jenkins (9) and Trevor Johnson.
GLACIER RANGE RIDERS — Gabe Howell 2-4, Crws Taylor 0-4, Dean Miller 2-5, Jackson Raper 1-5, Kingston Liniak 0-4, Ben Fitzgerald 1-4, Matt Clayton 3-4, Ryan Cash 1-4, Ben McConnell 1-4.
BILLINGS MUSTANGS — Luke Fennelly 1-5, Connor Denning 2-4, Mitch Moralez 1-3, Lance Logsdon 0-4, Casey Harford 0-4, Gabe Wurtz 2-5, Taylor Lomack 0-3, Bryce Donovan 1-4, Trevor Johnson 0-3.
2B — Clayton, Denning, Moralez, Wurtz. 3B — Howell, Fitzgerald. RBIs — Howell 2, Miller, Clayton, Denning, Donovan.