The Missoula Osprey have shown all of the Pioneer League that they just won't quit.
With six wins
(including the postseason) when trailing after eight innings - they have time
and time again proven that leaving Ogren Park Allegiance Field early is a mistake fans don't want to make.
And on Saturday, in Game 3 of the Pioneer League Championship Series, the Comeback Kids from Missoula were scoring runs like they were going out of style in the bottom of the ninth despite a 13-4 deficit, making the Orem Owlz sweat a little longer than they had planned.
Orem (55-26), who won a record 31 games in the second half to clinch their post-season berth, jumped ou to an early 3-0 lead in the first, snapped a 3-3 tie with single tallies in the third and fourth innings, and broke the game open with a six-run fifth inning. That pushed the Owlz lead to 11-3.
That would have been just enough, as it turns out.
Bobby Borchering gave the fans something to remember him by, collecting a double, triple, and home run while driving in five runs to pace the Osprey offense. His two-run triple capped the three-run first, all scoring with two out after an Owlz error, to tie the game at 3-3.
He would follow that up with a sixth-inning solo home run - which gave the Osprey faithful peanuts in the final Peanut inning of 2009 - and contributed a two-run double in the wild six-run 9th inning.
With two on and one out, Chris Owings singled in Jae Yun Kim to give the Osprey a spark in their final turn at-bat. After Bobby Stone struck out, Paul Goldschmidt singled home Ender Inciarte to narrow Orem's lead to 13-6.
After Ramon Castillo singled to load the bases, Borchering hit a scorcher down the left-field line, plating Owings and Goldschmidt. Pinch-hitter Alan Santiago then hit a two-run single to shallow left field, and the Osprey were suddenly within three.
But David Carpenter - the Owlz reliever that served up Stone's game-winning home run in Game 1 of the series in Orem - would get Kim to strike out to end the game. The Owlz survived, winning 13-10 over the Osprey to claim their third Pioneer League title in five years
Jeremy Berg would get the win for Orem, pitching four innings and allowing just one run in relief of starter Orangel Arenas. Charles Brewer, the first of six Osprey pitchers who would see action on Saturday, struggled throughout the night, and suffered the loss. He surrendered five runs in his four innings of work. Relievers Adam Worthington and Jake Hale also struggled, while neither Patrick Schuster, Scott Allen, nor Ryan Robowski allowed an earned run.
The Osprey end the season with a 43-39 record, which includes a 3-3 mark in the post-season.
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