OREM, UTAH - The Missoula Osprey enjoyed a stellar night at the plate against Orem on Friday night, leveraging a pair of home runs and 14 base hits for their first win of the first half, knocking off the Owlz by a final score of 10-6.
After scoring only two runs in Thursday's disappointing loss, the Osprey lineup corrected course by striking for Friday's first run in the top of the first inning. Eduardo Diaz notched his first of three base hits and came around to score several batters later on a foul fly down the third base line by Juan Araujo. Orem answered with a pair of runs in the home half of the inning, sinking Missoula to an early 2-1 deficit after an inning.
Fortunately for the Osprey, their bats built on their first-inning success to score at least one run in each of the game's first five innings, outpacing Orem's more modest attack. Francis Martinez and Juan Araujo walloped solo homers in the second and third innings respectively. Martinez then doubled home an additional run in the fourth inning and came across to score on a sacrifice fly by Keshawn Lynch. In the fifth, Missoula exploded for its highest single-inning total of the night, plating three runs after a bases loaded passed ball combined with a two-run single by Joel Novas pushed Missoula to an 8-3 lead.
Left-handed starter Franklyn Soriano turned in an admirable performance en route to earning his second victory, limiting Orem to four runs (three earned) on six hits and two walks, while striking out three in five innings. The Owlz entered play with a remarkable track record of success against left-handed pitching, but Soriano was able to muffle them, exiting with an 8-4 lead.
Over the final four innings of the ballgame, relievers Rafael Pujols, Cole Bartlett, and Abraham Almonte combined to hold Orem in check. Bartlett seemingly sealed the game in the bottom of the sixth when he entered a bases-loaded situation with two outs, inducing a groundout to strand all three inherited runner. Two runs in the top of the ninth punctuated the evening for Missoula, lifting them to their first victory of the second half.
The Osprey return to action on Saturday night at the Home of the Owlz, meeting up with Orem for a 7:05 p.m. first pitch. Coverage will begin 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.