Bobby Stone has been one of those clutch hitters the Missoula Osprey have relied on all season. And Wednesday's Game 1 of the Pioneer League Championship Series at Brent Brown Ballpark was no different.
With a 1-2 count and two out in the top of the ninth inning, Stone delivered a three-run home run, capping a comeback from a 5-1 deficit as the Osprey beat the Orem Owlz, 7-6, in the first-ever post-season meeting between the two teams.
Stone added a single and a RBI double for a 3-for-4 night, with 4 RBIs. His run-scoring two-bagger came in a three-run eighth inning that pulled the Osprey within 5-4. Stone led the league in RBI during the regular season.
After Stone's heroics, it was up to Diogenes Rosario to close out the game. However, Orem scored to pull within a run, and had runners on first and third with two out. But Rosario induced a fly ball by Terrell Alliman to center field to end the game.
Orem jumped out to a 3-0 lead after four innings. Enrique Burgos (1-0) came on in relief of Miguel Pena and allowed just a pair of runs in four innings of work to get the win.
The Osprey finished the night with 12 hits. Ender Inciarte had a pair of hits, while every other Osprey in the starting lineup finished with at least one. Ramon Castillo drew a bases-loaded walk to bring home the first run for the Osprey in the top of the sixth inning, while Chris Owings and Bobby Borchering joined Stone with RBI doubles in the eighth.
The Osprey will head home for Games 2 and 3 (if necessary) of the Pioneer League Championship series on Friday and Saturday at Ogren Park Allegiance Field. Mike Belfiore will get the start for the Osprey in Friday's Game 2, while the Owlz have yet to announce their starter.