MISSOULA, MONT. - Starting pitcher Brady Muller fired seven and two-thirds innings of dominant work on Friday night, and the Missoula Osprey (10-9) outlasted the Great Falls Voyagers (7-12) by a final score of 2-1, earning their third consecutive victory and seventh in nine games overall.
Through the first three innings, Missoula piled up seven base hits, but bounced into double plays each inning, failing to score against Great Falls starter Adam Panayotovich. Finally in the fourth frame, Andy Yerzy led off with a double before scoring three batters later on an RBI-single by Francis Martinez, his second run batted in of the year.
For the bulk of the night, the one run held up, as Muller mowed through the Great Falls lineup for seven innings, when the Osprey lineup pushed across a run of insurance on a sacrifice fly by Gabriel Maciel. The second run proved important for Missoula, as Muller was knocked from the game in the top of the eighth with two outs on an RBI-double from Great Falls outfielder Craig Dedelow. With the tying run on second base, right-hander Carlos Bustamante needed just three pitches in the process of striking out Anthony Villa to preserve the 2-1 Missoula lead.
In the ninth inning, Abraham Almonte allowed a base hit and a long fly ball to center field, but also captured a strikeout and earned his third save in as many chances. In earning his first win of the season, Muller pitched a season-high seven and two-thirds innings, allowing just a single run on five hits and two walks, while striking out four.
With the victory, Missoula pushed its overall record over the .500 mark for the first time since 2015 and won its seventh game in nine tries.
The Osprey return to action on Saturday night in Helena for a 7:05 pm first pitch against the Brewers. Coverage begins at 6:45 with the Mission Paint Pregame Show on 102.9 ESPN Missoula.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.