All evening long, Bozeman pressured Billings with aggressive baserunning and a well-rounded attack. Seven players in the lineup recorded hits. Of the four who didn’t, three reached via walk.

On a night the Bucks didn’t have to be dominant, they weren’t and still managed to pull away with a 13-2 win against the Halos on Friday at Heroes Park.

“I thought today we were just OK honestly. I didn’t think our energy was real high,” Bozeman manager Garrett Schultz said. “... I don’t think we were as checked in tonight as we’ve been the past few weeks.”

Despite minor errors the Bucks hope to clean up, Bozeman (19-5) rolled to its 15th victory in its last 16 games. The Bucks have found a rhythm by imposing their style on opponents and did that once again. Though Schultz won’t put much weight in the result and Bozeman would’ve preferred more intensity throughout, players consistently reached base and later scored.

When put to the test, the Halos committed three errors and threw four wild pitches.

“It started good in the beginning. It got slower and slower,” said Michael Freund, who scored a game-high three runs and drove in a pair. “… We could’ve come out with a lot more energy and played a lot better, but other than that, we played good enough to 10-run them.”

Bozeman jumped ahead with its first chance, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first. Freund led off with a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Kelher Murfitt followed with a single and took second without a throw. Both scored later in the inning and so did Alton Gyselman, from second on a single by Preston Fliehman.

Murfitt and Gyselman each scored twice and Murfitt notched two RBIs. Starter Brady Higgs allowed a run on two hits in three innings before Freund relieved him and gave up the other run.

Each opportunity the Bucks had to take extra bases, they typically capitalized. The tone they set early carried throughout. Though they didn’t fully gash the Halos until scoring six in the fifth, they repeatedly put runners on base and constantly applied pressure.

In the fourth, Freund batted second, drove a double into the left-center gap and stole third. When the catcher’s throw flew into left field, he rounded the base and jogged home knowing the ball had no chance to beat him. As Freund exhibited on the play, once Bozeman jumped ahead and gained a lead, a steady pace was all that was needed.

“(When) you get a runner on at the beginning of an inning, that always translates well for us I think,” Freund said, “because once one person starts rolling, our team’s pretty streaky.”

As the game progressed, though, players missed reads on the basepaths and were overly aggressive, Schultz said. While it didn’t cost a win Friday, the manager is looking forward to the upcoming four-day break in the schedule, which he said comes at the “perfect time.”

The team plans to have a “concept day” at Monday’s practice to hone the communication and situational awareness errors that occurred against the Halos. Schultz added that he won’t put much stock in Friday’s game, but there are lessons to learn, which will be reviewed before returning to conference play Wednesday against the Billings Scarlets.

“It’s something you focus on a lot early when you’re not playing games yet and then you get into the swing of games and your practice schedule is just all jumbled up,” Schultz said. “... We need it. It’s a good time for it. We’re entering a really grinder of a stretch of our season.”

Paul Schwedelson can be reached at or 406-582-2670. Follow him on Twitter @pschweds.

Paul Schwedelson is a sports writer for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.