Osprey Preview: Game #72
Who: Missoula Osprey (35–36 |16–17) @ Helena Brewers (27–44 | 12–21)
Where: Kindrick Field — Helena, MT
When: 7:05 P.M. (MT) first pitch
The Osprey and Brewers get together for their 16th and final meeting of the season on Tuesday night. Entering play, the O’s have enjoyed an 8–7 record against the Brewers, but have struggled in the state’s capital, going just 2–5 in Helena. With a win on Tuesday, Missoula can clinch the season series with the Brewers for the second consecutive season.
In one of the most bizarre games in the Pioneer League this season, the Osprey lost to the Brewers 20–13. The game was smattered with fascinating items, mostly centered around the point that the Osprey matched the Pioneer League record with 7 home runs in the game, but never pulled closer than 4 runs down.
The O’s trailed by as many as 14 runs and scored 10 times in the final two innings to pull within a final margin of seven runs. In route to piling up 7 homers, five different Osprey players went deep, including mutli-homer games for Juan Araujo and Ernie De La Trinidad. The Osprey also enjoyed their first occurrence of back- to-back home runs with two out in the top of the ninth when Eddie Hernandez and Ernie De La Trinidad clocked consecutive long balls.
- Helena outfielder Jay Feliciano went 5-for-6 with a grand slam, a 3-run homer, and 9 total RBI, setting a new Osprey opponent record.
- Helena reliever Matt Hardy matched the league record for most home runs allowed in a game (5) despite having never allowed a home run in nearly 30 career innings entering play.
- The 33 combined runs actualy was not the most in an Osprey game this season (35 on 6/23 vs. Great Falls).
WHAT THE HOMER?
With their 7 home runs last night in Helena, the Osprey established a new franchsie record for single-game homers. The O’s hit 5 dingers in the last two innings, including 3 in the top of the 9th to surpass the previous mark of 6, which had been achieved three times.
With 73 home runs in 2017, the Osprey now have their fourth-highest total in the Osprey’s 19-year existance in Missoula. The total of 7 homers from Monday matched the Pioneer League record, making the 2017 Osprey the third team to smash 7 homers in a single game. Lethbridge was the most recent team to accomplish the feat, hitting 7 homers against Medicine Hat on August 30, 1996. Calgary was the first to do it on July 24, 1983 vs. Helena.
To add further context, the Osprey didn’t hit their 7th home run of the season until their 11th game of the year and managed only 9 long balls during the month of June.
The Osprey conclude their brief two-game series in Helena and wrap up their season series with the Brewers. Already with 8 head-to-head wins against the Brewers this season, the Osprey have an opportunity to win the season series against the Brewers for a second consecutive year.
In order to do so, the Osprey must go through right-hander Gabe Friese for Helena. Friese has pitched only 6 times for Helena, making 5 starts and posting a 3–1 record in conjunction with a 4.67 ERA. The right-hander pitched against the Osprey on August 26, earning a victory after pitching 6.0 innings in which he allowed 3 runs (all earned) on 10 hits and 1 walk, while striking out 2. Friese has stuck out 24 batters, while walking just 2.
This Osprey will counter with 24-year-old left-hander Cesilio Pimentel, who expects to make his fifth start of the season. Pimentel enters Tuesday with a 1–2 record and an ERA of 5.57 with 15 strikeouts and 5 walks in 21.0 innings of work.
In his most recent outing, Pimentel took a no-decision for the first time in 2017, pitching 5.0 innings against Billings in which he surrendered 4 runs (all earend) on 7 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 5 and giving up a home run. Pimentel, who dominated Billings in their first meeting, did not have the same command of his off-speed pitches as that which he enjoyed in his lone win of the year on August 21 against Billings. The Mustangs scored a run in the 6th inning off Damian Defrank after Pimentel’s exit to take a 5–4 lead that they maintained to the end of the game.
The seventh-year pro was saddled with the loss in his only start against Helena, a shaky four-inning outing at Kindrick Legion Field on August 26 in which he surrendered 7 runs (4 earned) on 8 hits and 1 walk, while striking out only 2. Pimentel received minimal help from the Osprey behind him in the field, as they committed 3 errors that directly precipitated 3 unearned runs. While he struggled to avoid hard contact, the final stat line for Pimentel could have been far better had the defense been more cnsistent behind him.
- Gabriel Maciel — LF
- Eduardo Diaz — CF
- Keshawn Lynch — 2B
- Ernie De La Trinidad — DH
- Juan Araujo — RF
- Gavin Stupienski — C
- Terence Connelly — 3B
- Francis Martinez — 1B
- Brandon Leyton — SS