The Moose Jaw Miller Express capped off their weekend with a big Father’s Day win, 8-5, over the Lethbridge Bulls.
The win gave Moose Jaw a two-game series sweep over the Bulls after Saturday’s 6-5 win and the Millers took three out of four during their four-game home stand at Ross Wells Park.
“Everybody comes out and just wants to win and it’s important to have that confidence coming out here every day,” said starting pitcher Terry McNabb. “It was big to shut Lethbridge down, sweep them and it was pretty big.”
The Davidson native saw his record climb to 4-0 on the year after he pitched seven innings, giving up just three runs on six hits. He finished with six strikeouts to raise his season total to a league leading 31.
McNabb was able to breeze through the first five innings before Lethbridge got to him the sixth. Entering the inning with just one hit, the Bulls picked up four in the frame and scored three to tie the game at 3-3.
With the momentum swinging to the Bulls’ side, the Millers responded in the bottom half of the inning. Austin Russell drove in two with a single and Miles Hunter followed that up with three-run home run that made it 8-3.
“We know we’re an offensive team and we knew it was kind of just a matter of time,” said Hunter on their big rally. “Guys have confidence that if we put runners on base, that we’re going to come through.”
McNabb said it was nice to see his teammates back him up after a struggling in the sixth inning.
“In the seventh inning too, if Russ wouldn’t have made that catch out in left field, it might have gotten away from us, but that was a big play,” he said.
“It was going alright until the fifth when I hit a wall and everything wasn’t quite as sharp, but we gutted through it and we got the win.”
Hunter has been coming through all season and he did again on Sunday, as to raise his average to a league leading .500. The sixth inning home run was his first of the year, he said it was made extra special by having his father in attendance.
“It’s always kind of emotional when you get your fathers involved,” said Hunter. “They’re the guys that showed us this game and the appreciation that we have for them is indescribable.”
All the Millers’ fathers that were in attendance for the game came out to throw the ceremonial first pitch to their sons. “It was kind of cool, he actually threw a strike, I wasn’t expecting that,” said McNabb.
Frank Pluskota had an infield RBI single during Moose Jaw’s three-run first inning. Pluskota just returned to Moose Jaw for his second, and final, season with the Millers. He finished 1-for-4 on the day.
Derek Cornell reached base four times in the leadoff spot and came around to score twice.
Josh Janzen got the save for Moose Jaw, throwing a hit-less final 1.1 innings with one strikeout and a walk. Jorge Pantoja allowed two runs in 2/3 of an inning.
The Millers return to the field on Tuesday in Yorkton against the Cardinals. Their record sits at 6-3 on the year and they hold a 1.5-game lead on Swift Current in the Central Division.