Mitsui’s cycle lifts Osprey past GJ Rox
Five days after Grand Junction’s Max George hit for the cycle, Missoula’s Trevor Mitsui achieved the feat Thursday in the Osprey’s 12-9 Pioneer League victory over the Rockies.
The teams combined for 30 hits, and after taking a 4-1 lead in the first inning, the Osprey kept the Rockies at bay, scoring in each of the first four innings and building a 9-6 lead against Javier Palacios (1-3), including hitting back-to-back home runs in the third inning.
Mitsui led off the inning with a home run to left and Dane McFarland followed with another home run to left before Palacios got three ground balls to end the inning.
The Rockies (17-13) came up with three runs in the fourth inning to cut Missoula’s lead to 7-6 when Forrest Wall hit a two-run triple and scored on a groundout by Luis Jean.
Missoula, though, scored two runs in the bottom of the inning and three in the sixth.
Terry McClure helped spark Grand Junction’s comeback in the eighth inning with a two-run single, scoring Nate Causey, who walked and took third on Kevin Padlo’s double. That cut the lead to 12-9, but McClure, who took second when Omar Carrizales walked, was thrown out trying to steal third.
Mitsui, much like George last week, got the two hardest hits out of the way early on his way to the cycle, hitting an RBI triple in the first inning, then the home run in the third.
In the fourth, Mitsui doubled in two runs, and he reached on an error in the sixth.
Needing a single in his final at-bat, the Missoula first baseman hit the ball back to the mound, where it caromed off Grand Junction reliever Alec Kenilvort to third base. Kenilvort remained in the game and Mitsui was stranded.
Mitsui finished 4 for 5 and reached base five times, scored three runs and drove in four.
The loss kept Grand Junction three games behind Orem in the Pioneer League South. Catcher Hamlet Marte went 0 for 5, ending his hitting streak at eight games.
Padlo and McClure each went 3 for 4 and scored twice, and Wall drove in three runs, going 2 for 5 in the leadoff spot. Luis Jean and Yonathan Daza each had two hits for the Rockies.
Palacios allowed nine runs on 11 hits in 3 1/3 innings. Alex Rodriguez gave up the other three runs to Missoula, lasting only two-thirds of an inning.
None of the five Grand Junction pitchers, though, walked a batter, but recorded a total of only four strikeouts.
Tyler Bolton got the win for Missoula (13-17), allowing seven runs on 10 hits in five innings. The Rockies struck out 13 times.