This is it. The last game of the year. And it means the whole marbles are on the line. Every last color, style and size in the pack is on the line tonight.
And have the Missoula Osprey have made this their stick over the last week-plus, or what?
They have played in a must-win situation three prior times to tonight – Sept. 6-7 vs. Billings, and in the decider Sept. 9 at Great Falls – and won them all. So tonight’s Pioneer Baseball League Championship Series Game 3 with the Ogden Raptors at Lindquist Field enters that realm.
However, to be fair, there are some things to point out on both sides:
– The Osprey have won 2 of 5 Game 3s played in during the post-season, but won their last one. Both of those Game 3 wins came against Great Falls.
– The Raptors hadn’t won a Championship Series game until last night, dropping their first nine tries.
– Both teams are looking to end a title drought of sorts. The Osprey haven’t won since 2006, while Ogden last won a Pioneer League title before there was a playoff system in place, in 1969.
– Incidentally, that 1969 title – all of 43 years ago – came on the tail end of a four-year reign as PBL champs for Ogden, a record that has been approached but not equaled since.
– Little-known fact – the Osprey have made the playoffs now in four of the seven seasons there has been an Arizona League team in existence at the same time (1999, 2001, 2011 and 2012).
So what does that all mean for tonight? Likely … nothing, unless you make it into something to grab on to. Which, of course, is why we point it out.
Enough delving into stuff … on to the lineups, which will follow the usual radio stuff. Pre-game will be at 6:45 tonight, first pitch at 7:00 on AM 930 and online at MissoulaOsprey.com. At the moment, pre-game interview is TBA.
Anyway, here’s who both managers are starting tonight:
14 Pedro Ruiz SS
9 Danny Pulfer 2B
18 Jake Lamb 3B
7 Michael Perez C
19 Socrates Brito RF
21 Breland Almadova CF
15 Alex Glenn LF
26 Yosbel Gutierrez DH
30 Tyler Bream 1B
48 Yoimer Camacho RHP
12 Delvis Morales 2B
40 Noel Cuevas LF
33 Jeremy Rathjen RF
17 Jesus Valdez 1B
46 Corey Seager SS
34 Paul Hoenecke DH
10 Jose Capellan C
27 Bladimir Franco 3B
5 Malcolm Holland CF
36 Ross Stripling RHP