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Billings Mustangs rally past Missoula Osprey, 1 win from playoffs

Posted: 10:16 PM, Sep 04, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-05 14:10:01-04
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(Editor's note: Mustangs media release)

BILLINGS -- The Billings Mustangs (22-13, 37-36) are now within one win of clinching a playoff berth thanks to their 6-5 win in 10 innings over the Missoula Osprey (19-16, 39-34) on Wednesday in front of 2,026 at Dehler Park.

Missoula led by as many as four runs in the game, taking their first lead in the top of the fourth inning. Tristen Carranza hit a solo home run to left off of Noah Davis for the only run that he would surrender. Davis matched a season-high with five innings in the start, allowing just one run on four hits, not issuing a walk and striking out two.

The Osprey expanded their lead to 4-0 with three runs on two hits in the seventh. Luvin Valbuena singled in one run while Jose Reyes would drive in two with his base hit.

Trailing 4-0 going to the bottom of the seventh, the Mustangs tied the game with one swing of the bat. With the bases loaded, two outs in the inning and a two-strike count, Tyler Callihan crushed a game-tying grand slam to right for his first Pioneer League home run. It was just the third game in a Mustangs uniform for Callihan, who was promoted from Greeneville earlier this week.

The game stayed tied at 4-4 heading to extra innings. It was the 10th trip to extras this season for Billings who entered the game just 2-7 in extra-inning affairs.

Trailing 5-4 in the bottom of the 10th, Eric Yang tied the game with his RBI single back up the middle after battling to a 12th pitch of his at-bat. After Yang advanced to second on a wild pitch, the table was set for Garrett Wolforth and his late-game heroics. The pinch-hitter drove a two-out, two-strike offering into left-center for a walk-off single, scoring Ranser Amador who pinch-ran earlier in the inning. It was the third walk-off hit at Dehler Park this season for the Mustangs, coming from a player who was making just his fourth appearance for Billings.

The Mustangs now lead the North Division by three games in the second half with three left to play. With one more win they can clinch a playoff berth while the Osprey must now win the final three games of the regular season to clinch a spot. The Great Falls Voyagers were eliminated from contention Wednesday.

The Mustangs and Osprey face off in game two of their four-game series Thursday, Sept. 5. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. MDT at Dehler Park.