Trailing into the bottom of the 8th, three runs on four hits surged the Missoula Osprey (32-27, 12-9) over Idaho Falls (28-32, 7-16) Wednesday night, 3-1, at Melaleuca Field. With Billings falling at home, the Osprey win puts Missoula three games out of first in the North.
Osprey pitchers combined for 14 strikeouts, including a season-high six from Austin Pope in his longest outing of the season. Denson Hull (W, 1-2) allowed the first run to score in the top of the 8th, and the left-hander got the win for the Osprey, his first of 2019.
Missoula's Mitchell Stumpo nailed down his third save of the season, striking out the final two batters.
Shortstop Nick Grande led the night offensively for the Osprey, finishing a perfect 3-3. RF Tristen Carranza knocked the decisive two-out, two-RBI single in the 8th to put the Osprey in front for good.
In a night of strong pitching from both bullpens, the Chukars put the pressure on with an RBI single in the top of the 8th, taking a 1-0 lead.
With one out in the bottom of the 8th, Nick Grande and Jose Reyes both singled. With runners at the corners, Cam Coursey squeezed Grande in from 3rd on a bunt to tie the game. With two outs, Carranza singled, scoring both Reyes and Coursey to seal the 3-1 Osprey final.
Missoula heads to Great Falls for a four-day, six-game road series. The Voyagers and Osprey are scheduled for a 7:00 pm start at Centene Stadium on Thursday night. The two will play a double-header on Friday and Sunday to make up from the postponed games from the Osprey's August 16-19 home-stand.
Missoula returns to Ogren Park at Allegiance Field for the final time of the 2019 regular season on Tuesday, August 27, to begin a pivotal, three-game series vs Billings.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.