MISSOULA – For the second season in a row, the Billings Mustangs’ Pioneer League playoff hopes hinge on the final day of the regular season.
Missoula’s Alex Glenn hit a two-run home run in the bottom off the ninth off Mustangs closer Mo Wiley (3-2), sending the Osprey to a 3-2 victory on Wednesday night and forcing a winner-take-all game.
Missoula (22-15) holds a one-game lead over the Mustangs (21-16) for the North Division’s second-half title. Should Billings win on Thursday, the Mustangs will earn the division’s playoff spot by virtue of a tiebreaker.
Last season the Mustangs lost out on playoff berth on the last day of the season.
Solo home runs by Jesse Winker in the third inning and Brandon Dailey in the seventh gave the Mustangs a 2-0 lead in support of a career-best outing by starting pitcher Drew Cisco. But the Osprey got a run back in the seventh off Cisco and after a shutout inning from reliever Michael Salter, Mustangs manager Pat Kelly brought in Wiley to get the last four outs.
Jake Lamb worked a lead-off walk in the bottom of the ninth off Wiley, and two outs later Glenn sent a pitch from Wiley over the left-field fence to extend the season as far as it could go.
Cisco, who was skipped a day in the regular rotation to make this start, threw 6 2/3 innings, striking out nine and walking none.
Sal Romano (5-5, 4.90) gets the ball for the Mustangs on Thursday. Ross Gerdeman (4-5, 5.10) is expected to pitch for Missoula.