(Editor’s note: release from Missoula Osprey)
MISSOULA – In the final game of the first half in the Pioneer League season, the Missoula Osprey (19-19) notched a walk-off in the ninth inning against the Idaho Falls Chukars (21-17) Tuesday from Ogren Park Allegiance Field. With two runners on base, Buddy Kennedy hit a roller toward the second basemen Nathan Eaton, whose throw went wide of Nick Hutchins at first to score the winning run.
Idaho Falls put the first run on the board with a first inning run, courtesy of an Eaton solo home run. The Chukars plated another in the second when Angel Media went deep as well off Osprey starter Bryan Valdez. Missoula scored its first run in the second when Jesus Marriaga drove home Zac Almond to pull the game within one before the Osprey took their first lead.
Luis Cossio started the home half of the third with a single while Geraldo Perdomo reached on an error and Brandon Leyton singled to load the bases off Chukars starter CJ Elred. Buddy Kennedy then roped a single to left to tie the game 2-2 before Zac Almond gave the Osprey a 3-2 lead with an RBI single. Jesus Munoz tacked on another run in the frame with an RBI single of his own, giving Missoula a 4-2 advantage.
The two teams traded runs in the fourth before Idaho Falls plated two in the top of the sixth to tie the game 5-5. Neither team was able to do any damage in the seventh or eighth innings to pave the way for a game-winner in the bottom of the ninth.
Daniel Wasinger led off the frame with a single to left and was replaced in the game by Nick Dalesandro at first. Cossio dropped down a sacrifice bunt to move Dalesandro to second, and Perdomo was intentionally walked to put two runners on. Brando Leyton flew out to deep left field, leaving the game to Kennedy with two outs.
Kennedy dribbled a roller toward Eaton at second, and his throw went past Hutchins to score Dalesandro from second to down the Chukars 6-5. Missoula was led by Almond, who finished the game with two hits and an RBI. Bryan Menendez (1-0) earned his first professional win with a scoreless top of the ninth for Missoula. Daniel Duarte (0-1) is pegged with his first loss after giving up the unearned run in the ninth.
Missoula returns to action Thursday for a 7:05 pm first pitch against the Billings Mustangs from Dehler Park. The Selway Armory Pregame Show begins at 6:45 p.m. on ESPN 102.9 and the MiLB First Pitch App.