OGDEN, UTAH - Brady Muller delivered five scoreless innings in his second consecutive quality outing, the Osprey exploded for a six-run first inning, and Carlos Bustamante shut the door in the ninth, helping the Missoula Osprey (12-12) outlast the Ogden Raptors (12-12) by a final score of 8-5 at Lindquist Field on Thursday night.
Missoula wasted little time in attacking Ogden starting pitcher Edwin Uceta, as outfielder Gabriel Maciel catalyzed a first-inning rally when he led off the ballgame with a bunt single to extend his hitting streak to 13 games. Ernie De La Trinidad added a single one batter later, and Andy Yerzy drove home Maciel on an infield single to first base. Dominic Miroglio added a second RBI-infield single to double the lead to 2-0. Ogden third baseman Brock Carpenter then committed an error to plate a pair of runs, and Brandon Leyton looped a fly ball single to right field to score the final pair of the inning, giving the Osprey a 6-0 advantage after half a frame.
With six runs at his back, starter Brady Muller settled into dominant form, hurling five shutout innings in which he struck out a season-high eight batters and allowed just two hits and two walks. Muller collected his second win in as many starts, bringing his record even to 2-2.
Following Muller's exit, Ogden plated four runs in the sixth on an RBI double by Tyler Adkison and a three-run homer from Brock Carpenter. All four runs were charged to Gabe Gonzalez, who left after 2/3 of an inning.
Missoula fought back in the seventh and eighth innings to add individual insurance runs in each frame, first on and RBI single by Dominic Miroglio in the seventh. Following a tremendous at-bat by Andy Yerzy that culminated in a double to center field, Miroglio smoked a fastball into the left field corner, scoring Yerzy from second. The next inning, Jose Caballero was hit by a pitch and moved to third on a steal of second and a throwing error by Ogden catcher Luis Paz. Leyton then grounded out to third base, allowing Caballero to push Missoula's lead to 8-4 entering the bottom of the eighth.
In addition to his three runs batted in, Leyton was responsible for a remarkable stop on the outfield grass behind second base to preserve Missoula's lead in the bottom of the seventh. With runners on second and third, Leyton lunged to keep the ball on the infield, spun around, and threw to first in time to beat Tyler Adkison for the final out.
Leading 8-4 entering the last of the ninth, Abraham Almonte and Carlos Bustamante combined to finish the victory for Missoula. While Ogden scored once off Almonte and loaded the bases with just one out, Bustamante recorded a strikeout and induced a lazy fly ball to end the game.
The Osprey return to action on Friday night in the finale of their three-game series in Ogden and sixth of 10 consecutive games on the road. First pitch is at 7:00 p.m. with the Mission Paint Pregame Show set to air at 6:45 p.m. on 102.9 ESPN Missoula.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.