An Osprey Never Quits

The Missoula Osprey staged what might be minor league baseball’s comeback of the year last night, rallying from a late 7-0 deficit to beat the Billings Mustangs, 8-7.

Billings scored twice in each of the first three innings and held a seven run lead heading into the bottom of the seventh.  With two out, Missoula scored on a bases loaded walk (one of three free passes in the inning) to finally get on the scoreboard.

Bryan Gardner came on in the eighth for Billings and put two men on (via walk and hit by pitch) before escaping from the inning unscathed. He was sent back out to start the ninth, charged with securing the six run lead, when everything went to hell in ten easy steps.

1.  Alex Herrnberger walked.
2.  Henry Zaballa walked; Herrnberger advanced to 2nd.
3.  David Nick walked; Herrnberger advanced to 3rd; Zaballa advanced to 2nd.
4.  David Narodowski walked; Herrnberger scored; Zaballa advanced to 3rd; Nick to 2nd. 7-2, Billings

At this point, manager Julio Garcia had seen enough, replacing Gardner (final line: IP, 0 H, 5 BB, 4 R) with Daniel Corcino.

5.  With Bobby Stone batting, Zaballa scored on a balk; Nick advanced to 3rd; Narodowski advanced to 2nd. 7-3, Billings
6.  Bobby Stone singled on a ground ball to shortstop; Nick scored; Narodowski to 3rd. 7-4, Billings
7.  Offensive Substitution: Pinch runner Adonys Canelo replaced Stone.
8.  Ramon Castillo singled on a line drive to left; Narodowski scores; Canelo to 2nd. 7-5 Billings
9.  Offensive Substitution: Pinch runner Ender Inciarte replaced Castillo.
10. Paul Goldschmidt homered on a fly ball to center; Canelo scored; Inciarte scored. 8-7, Missoula wins

To recap, those seven ninth-inning runs were driven in by: a walk, a balk, an infield single, a single to left, and a walkoff homerun.  Three runs scored before the Osprey even got a ball out of the infield.  Missoula: where amazing happens.

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