GREAT FALLS — The Missoula Osprey appear to be saving their best baseball for last this season.
The O's won for the fourth time in five games Saturday, jumping in front early and then holding off the Great Falls Voyagers for a 7-4 victory at Centene Stadium. The Voyagers' second-half lead in the Pioneer League North standings was whittled to one game over Missoula and three over the Billings Mustangs.
The O's (34-35 overall) scored all seven of their runs in the first five innings. Terence Connelly started the onslaught with a solo home run in the second inning and Missoula tacked on two more in the third on an Eduardo Diaz two-run home run.
Connelly lined an RBI single as part of a two-run fourth inning. The O's added another two in the fifth — both scoring on a Connelly double — forcing the Voyagers to pull starter Brandon Agar, who fell to 6-2 with Saturday's loss.
Missoula starting pitcher Edgar Martinez picked up the win, improving to 2-3. He allowed just one run on five hits with five strikeouts in six innings.
Kai-Wei Lin came on in relief of Martinez and struggled, allowing three runs on five hits in two innings of duty. Cole Bartlett came on in the ninth and earned his third save.
Connelly paced the Osprey offense, going 3 for 4 with four RBIs. Missoula will take on the Voyagers once again on Sunday afternoon in Great Falls.