MISSOULA, MONT. - The Missoula Osprey (18-18, 37-37) rallied for seven consecutive runs in the last three innings, but fell short in 10-8 loss to the Great Falls Voyagers (33-41, 18-18) on Thursday night at Ogren Park at Allegiance Field.
With Kai-Wei Lin earning his first start since August 11, the Taiwanese right-hander fired a pair of perfect innings to open the evening. In the third, however, Lin's early success expired, as Great Falls surged for four runs on four hits and a hit batsman to take an early 4-0 lead. The next inning, the Voyagers plated two additional runs on three more hits, including a solo homer.
Lin exited after the fourth, trailing 6-0 and eventually was saddled with his sixth loss of the season. In four full innings of work, Lin surrendered six runs (all earned) on seven hits, while striking out one without a walk.
In the bottom of the fifth, Missoula's lineup jolted to life for its first score of the game on a two-base throwing error by Great Falls third baseman Anthony Villa. The subsequent half inning, the Voyagers responded with a trio of runs against Osprey reliever Damian Defrank, who surrendered four hits and a walk in two innings of relief. Following Defrank's exit at the conclusion of the sixth, Osprey relievers Elvis Luciano and Pierce Romero combined to hold Great Falls hitless over the game's final three innings, despite surrendering an unearned run on a throwing error in the ninth.
Trailing 9-1 in the bottom of the sixth, the Osprey opened a run of seven consecutive runs, scoring once on a solo homer by Andy Yerzy to center field and again on an error. The homer was the first of two for Yerzy on Thursday night, as the catcher recorded his second multi-homer game of the year.
After a scoreless top of the seventh from Luciano, the first player born in the year 2000 or later to debut for the Osprey, Ernie De La Trinidad reached base on a throwing error by Great Falls pitcher Fernando Gallegos. Eduardo Diaz then singled to score Diaz, cutting Missoula's deficit to 9-6. With two men out in the eighth, Yerzy uncorked his second home run of the game to pull the Osprey within a run of Great Falls. The catcher fouled off four consecutive 3-2 pitches from Blake Battenfield before hammering the 10th offering 445 feet to right-center field.
Trailing 9-8, however, the Osprey failed to complete the comeback when Great Falls scored in the top of the ninth on a throwing error by Joel Novas and the lineup went down in sequence in the bottom half of the inning.
The Osprey return to action on Friday night, opening a two-game series in Great Falls against the Voyagers to conclude the regular-season schedule. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. with coverage beginning on 102.9 ESPN Missoula at 6:45 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.