Jun 20, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks mascot D. Baxter looks on during the game against the San Diego Padres at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Championships galore are being decided over this next week for the Minor League affiliates of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Today, the Hillsboro Hops are forced into a decisive third game to determine whether or not they keep their Northwest League crown. The Visalia Rawhide took Game 1 in their best of five series to determine the California League North Division Champion. Last but not least, the Missoula Osprey play Game 1 to determine the Pioneer League Championship.
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The Osprey arrived at this point after dropping Game 1 of the North Division Championship Series against the Billings Mustings. They returned home and powered by Jason Morozowski‘s cycle, evened the series with a 7-5 victory. Raymel Flores also homered for Missoula and the Osprey bullpen limited Billings to one run over the final five innings. In the clincher, Bo Takahashi went six solid innings, allowing three runs, all in the third frame, walking none and striking out seven as Missoula returned to the finals with a 6-3 win. Austin Byler, Luke Lowery and Matt Jones slugged solo home runs while Isan Diaz went 2 for 4 for the winners.
Missoula will be looking for its fourth title in franchise history and first since 2012. Their opponents are the Idaho Falls Chukars, an affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. Game 1 will be held in Idaho Falls at 3:05 PM MST today followed by an off day with Game 2 and 3 (if necessary) at Missoula. Idaho Falls won the League Championship in 2013.