Missoula Osprey Clinch Playoff Berth

MISSOULA, MT - Despite losing to the Great Falls Voyagers 1-0 Saturday, the Missoula Osprey clinched a postseason berth when the Billings Mustangs were shut out themselves 3-0.

With 1,499 rain-soaked fans waiting through an hour-long rain delay, the Missoula Osprey fell to the Great Falls Voyagers, 1-0. Despite the Voyagers' win, a loss by the Billings Mustangs to Helena clinched the Osprey a playoff berth.  Missoula will face the Voyagers in the North Division best-of-3 series beginning Saturday, September 12 at Ogren Park Allegiance Field. Tickets for the North Division Playoff Game 1 will go on sale beginning on Sunday at 10 a.m.

Although the Osprey are currently two games under .500, they were four games over in the first half.  They actually held the same overall record as the division-winning Great falls Voyagers in the first half, but surrendered the division due to a one-game tiebreaker on August 3rd in which the Osprey lost 7-2.  Great falls had to come back from a 2-1 deficit against Missoula the night before to force that elimination game.  The Osprey finished the regular season with a 9-7 record against their first-round rivals.

Neither the Osprey nor the Voyagers managed to make things happen on offense Saturday, except for the Great Falls' top of the sixth, when Zach Kayne doubled home Kevin Dubler for the 1-0 edge.

The Osprey threatened in the bottom of the seventh, as the rain began to fall. Paul Goldschmidt hit a grounder up the middle that Kayne was able to knock down, but threw wildly to first. Goldschmidt was awarded a hit and moved to second on the error. Ramon Castillo then was hit by a pitch - the 13th he has absorbed this season - before the umpires halted play.

When skies cleared and play resumed, the Osprey could not score a run off of Cameron Bayne, who took over on the restart, and did not threaten again.

Lost in the setback was the pitching of Chase Anderson, Ryan Robowski, and Scott Allen. Anderson (3-1) went six innings, allowing just one run on three hits while striking out four. It was just his third start of the season, but Anderson has allowed just one earned run over his two latest starts.  Robowski allowed a hit but struck out the side in the seventh while Allen struck out the side in the eighth and ninth innings, allowing just one hit in the process.

The Osprey will begin a four-game series with the Mustangs on Sunday at Ogren Park Allegiance Field and end the regular season with a two-game road trip in Helena before taking on the Great Lakes Voyagers September 12-14 to begin the postseason.

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