Soggy conditions at Ross Wells Park Saturday produced a thriller game, as the Moose Jaw Miller Express fought off a late charge from Lethbridge and came away with a 6-5 win.
Starting pitchers Brandon Acosta (Moose Jaw) and Alex Regan (Lethbridge) worked quickly in the early innings. After two they both allowed one hit and three strikeouts each.
Lethbridge pressed in the third, they started the inning with a walk and then after two quick outs they managed another walk to put runners at first and second.
Acosta got out of the jam by forcing a ground ball to second baseman Derek Cornell, ending the Bulls threat.
With one out in the Millers half of the third, right fielder Danny Lokesak hit a double to the leftfield wall. Two pitches later Lokesak was thrown out on a steal attempt that was followed by Cornell grounding out to the first baseman to end the inning
In the fourth inning the Bulls once again put runners on first and second with outs; this time Acosta sat them down by striking out Lethbridge catcher Trevor Sakatch.
With the game still scoreless to start the Millers half of the fifth, affiliated player Cole Warken led the inning off with a single to right field, this was his first WMBL hit. Next up was shortstop Brady Rogers, who reached first and advanced Warken to second on an error to the pitcher.
With two-out and runners on the corners for the Millers, Derek Cornell was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Austin Russell. Russell hit a shot to the gap in right center field, cashing in two to put the Millers on the board. Next up was Moose Jaw leading hitter Miles Hunter, who was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Aiden Stinnett. On the third pitch of Stinnett’s at bat he smashed a grand slam to give Moose Jaw a 6-0 lead after five innings.
Lethbridge got on the board in the sixth, with one-out Dylan Dyson smashed a towering home run over the right field wall.
With Moose Jaw up 6-1 to start the seventh, Lethbridge led off with a walk. Brandon Acosta then struck out the next batter. After that he forced a 1-6-3 double play to get out of the inning unscathed.
Moose Jaw turned to the bullpen in the eighth, bringing out Jorge Pantoja. Starter Brandon Acosta went seven innings, allowing one run on two hits while striking out nine and walking six. Jorge Pantoja worked the eighth; he walked the leadoff batter then sat down the Bulls next three batters.
Lethbridge battled back in the top of the ninth inning, scoring four runs to pull within one. With the tying run at second base Jason Renner forced a ground ball to end the game, handing Moose Jaw their fifth win.
Stinnett led the Millers offence, going 3-for-4 with four RBI’s, Danny Lokesak was 2-for-3, and Austin Russell was 1-for-4 with two RBI’s. Taylor Sakatch had three RBI’s for Lethbridge.
These two teams will finish their weekend series Sunday, first pitch is at 2:05pm at Ross Wells Park. Marc Smith has all the action at www.mjmillerexpress.com.