MISSOULA — Tuesday night’s Pioneer League Baseball game at Ogren Park Allegiance Field had plenty of blunders and mistakes, but the Missoula Osprey will take it. The Os used a seventh-inning rally to pull ahead and defeat the Billings Mustangs, 9-6.
The two teams combined for five errors, giving up a total of six unearned runs. The two pitching staffs also combined for 11 walks.
The defining seventh inning started with an RBI single by Tristen Carranza. The Osprey outfielder drove in a run to tie the game 5-5. Then a walk with the bases loaded, an RBI ground-out and a wild pitch gave Missoula three more runs and an 8-5 lead. Billings brought the tying run to the plate with no outs in the top of the ninth, but Missoula’s Mailon Arroyo then picked up three straight outs to finish off the save and the win for the Osprey.
Billings scored its first five runs of the game on an error, two walks with the bases loaded, another error and a ground-out. Missoula kept pace thanks to a bizarre play in the bottom of the second. Luvin Valbuena hit a slow roller up the first base line. The Mustangs couldn’t make the play at first, then attempted to throw home as Spencer Brickhouse tried to score. The throw skipped away from the Billings catcher, allowing a second run to score on a hit that traveled about 80 feet.
Kevin Lachance had the best night at the plate. The Osprey outfielder went 4-for-4 and drove in two runs.
The two teams will now play the rubber match of a three-game series at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday in Missoula.