Osprey Rally from 9-0 Down to Beat Mustangs, 11-10August 12, 2012 - Pioneer League (PL) Missoula Osprey
The game featured a little of everything - two hit batsmen early that produced an ejection, a big early lead for the Mustangs and the Osprey capping off their rally with a three-run bottom of the eighth inning in which they did not collect a single hit.
To cap it all off, the Osprey (10-4, 28-24) turned a 5-4-3 triple play in the top of the ninth inning to finish off the game. It was the first triple play by the Osprey since June 23, 2008, and just the fourth in club history.
The Mustangs (11-3, 32-20) took a 2-0 lead off of Osprey starter Chris Pack in the top of the first inning. In the bottom of the second, Michael Perez was hit by a pitch on the first pitch of the inning, and tempers flared briefly between both benches. Pack then hit Billings designated hitter Jesse Winker in the top of the third inning, and was immediately ejected.
Once things calmed down, the Mustangs scored four runs off of Patrick Smith, who came in to replace Pack, and the Mustangs would then add three more off of reliever Michael Rivera for a 9-0 lead in the top of the fifth inning.
The rally began for the Osprey in the bottom of the fifth, as Ty Linton walked, Adam McConnell doubled and Evan Marzilli walked to load the bases. Danny Pulfer plated the first run on a ground ball that was misplayed by Billings shortstop Brandon Dailey, while both Jake Lamb and Perez brought in runs with RBI groundouts to cut the deficit to 9-3.
Missoula used the Peanut Inning to their advantage again in the bottom of the sixth. With one out, Tyler Bream walked, Linton singled and McConnell singled to left field. Bream scored when McConnell's hit was booted, and Linton scored on a wild pitch to make it a 9-5 game.
The Mustangs scored a run in the top of the seventh off of reliever Chris Capper, but Chase Stevens (2-2) came on and slammed the door, getting out of the seventh without another run scoring, and pitched around trouble in the top of the eighth to pick up the win.
That Mustang tally in the top of the seventh was answered by a Bream three-run shot in the home half, trimming the once-large Billings lead to 10-8. The magic kicked in during the bottom of the eighth, as three Mustangs pitchers could not keep the Osprey from completing the comeback.
Marzilli was hit by a pitch to start the inning and would eventually score on a wild pitch. Perez, Brito and Breland Almadova each drew walks to load the bases. Pinch-runner Pedro Ruiz and Brito would also score on wild pitches, and the Osprey found themselves up, 11-10.
The Mustangs were not done, as Jeff Gelalich and Matt Lentz each singled to lead off the top of the ninth inning against Osprey closer Vince Spilker. Pinch-hitter Beau Amaral, after failing twice to bunt the runners over, hit a chopper to third and, while running up the line, tripped over his bat. Lamb gathered in the grounder and touched the bag at third, threw to second, where Pulfer dug the low throw out of the dirt while on second, then threw to Bream at first to complete the first Around-The-Horn triple play in Osprey history.
The Osprey managed to get the win despite being out-hit by the Mustangs, 19-9. McConnell finished with three of the nine Missoula hits, with Lamb, Brito and Almadova adding base hits for the Osprey.
The Osprey are now off until Monday, when they open up a seven-game homestand with the Ogden Raptors and Idaho Falls Chukars. In Monday's opener of a three-game series with the Raptors, the Osprey will go with right-hander Karl Triana, while the Raptors will counter with left-hander Jake Hermsen.
Tickets are available now at the MSO Hub Box Office, located at 140 North Higgins in Downtown Missoula, online at MissoulaOsprey.com and by phone (406) 543-3300.
Pioneer League Stories from August 12, 2012
- Osprey Rally from 9-0 Down to Beat Mustangs, 11-10 - Missoula Osprey
- Bottom Third Carries Chukars to Win - Idaho Falls Chukars
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