MISSOULA – The race to a first half title in the Pioneer League North Division is heating up. The Missoula Osprey tightened up the standings with a powerful outburst on Monday night.
The O’s slammed four home runs in Ogren Park Allegiance Field on their way to a 13-3 victory over the visiting Idaho Falls Chukars. Now the two squads are tied for first place with only three days left in the first half of the season. The first half champ clinches a spot in the Pioneer League playoffs.
Dominic Canzone provided the first two homers for Missoula, a solo shot in the second and a two-run bomb in the third to right center that was estimated to travel 450 feet. The Osprey led 4-0 after his second shot. Idaho Falls came back with three runs in the top of the fourth, but that is as close as the Chukars would get.
Spencer Brickhouse lifted a solo home run to the opposite field in left to push the lead to 5-3 in the top of the fifth. Tristen Carranza then tried to match Canzone in the sixth with a massive three-run homer that might have reached the Clark Fork River in left. Four more runs in the seventh inning put the game completely out of reach.
Carranza totaled four of Missoula’s 17 hits. And it wasn’t all the bats for the home team. Four Osprey relief pitchers combined to toss five hit-less innings of relief.
Game two of the crucial three-game series starts at 7:05 Tuesday night.