MISSOULA — The largest of all Missoula Osprey came up big on Saturday night.

Unfortunately for the O's, it wasn't quite enough.

Francis Martinez, a first baseman who stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 250 pounds, pelted a two-run home run for Missoula in the sixth inning. The Orem Owlz regrouped and held on for a 3-2 win, snapping a three-game winning streak for the hosts at Ogren-Allegiance Park.

The good news for the O's was that the Idaho Falls Chukars also fell to defeat in their home game against the Ogden Raptors. The Osprey and Chukars share the top spot in the Pioneer League North Division.

Missoula made things mighty interesting in the ninth Saturday, loading the bases with two outs. But Luvin Valbuena struck out, ending the game.

Saturday marked the pro debut for Osprey pitcher Bobby Ay. The ninth-round draft pick, who played for Cal Poly this spring, sent the Owlz down in order in the first inning.

Dustin Lacaze came on in relief and held Orem scoreless for the next three frames. Then it was Nick Marchese's turn and he didn't fare as well, surrendering two runs in the fifth and one in the sixth as the visitors built a 3-0 lead.

Martinez answered in the bottom of the sixth. After Cesar Garcia reached on an infield single, Missoula's first baseman trimmed Orem's lead to 3-2 with a two-run tater to right center field.

With the loss, Missoula fell to 15-12. Orem boosted its record to 9-18.

Martinez and Garcia shared the team lead in hits for the Osprey with two apiece. David Clawson led the Owlz with three hits, including a home run.

Ogden, the team with the best record in the Pioneer League South at 21-6, will be in Missoula for a game Sunday.

Load comments