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Missoula Osprey tied for 1st thanks to pitching staff

Posted at 5:30 PM, Jul 23, 2019

MISSOULA – The Missoula Osprey are tied for first in the Pioneer League with only three days left in the first half of the season. The O’s play in one of the most hitter-friendly ballparks you will find in Ogren Park Allegiance Field. But Missoula’s offensive stats are all in the middle of the pack this year.

The Osprey are getting it done with pitching. And they’re doing it with a staff filled with young Latin players, journeyman free agents, and mid-round draft picks.

Josh McMinn is one of the successful starters. The Oral Roberts product has a 2.45 ERA and allows less than one base runner per inning in his first year as a pro, after the Diamondbacks picked him in the 27th round of the draft. He fits the mold of many Osprey hurlers, eager to prove they belong.

“Being a senior and not going the year before, that fueled me into my senior season in college,” said McMinn. “That has fueled me into rookie ball and from here on out. So it’s nice. There’s not a lot of pressure on you because there is not all of this expectation. You are almost expected to just be a run-of-the-mill guy. But that’s not for me. So it’s of course absolutely motivated me. And I appreciate it. I’m grateful for it, honestly.”

Osprey relievers combined to throw five no-hit innings in a blowout win over Idaho Falls Monday night that tied up the north division standings. The O’s and Chukars play two more crucial games on Tuesday and Wednesday.