Solid pitching and late game heroics at the plate lifted the Moose Jaw Miller Express to a 6-5 win over the Swift Current Indians Friday night at Ross Wells Park.
The home team found their way onto the scoreboard first in the second inning. With runners on the corners, catcher Cole Warken cashed in Drew Danzeisen from third.
Swift Current responded with a run in their half of the third. However, Millers center fielder Miles Hunter ripped a shot of first base, the ball bounced away from the fielder which allowed Derek Cornell to score from second to put the Millers back out in front.
The visitors were able to get their lead runner on base to start the fifth. A stolen base and wild pitch put the runner at third, a single past Millers first baseman Ben Douglas broke in the tying the run. Moose Jaw pressed in their half of the fifth, with runners at first and second and two out, Frank Pluskota hit in to a fielder’s choice to end the inning.
Swift Current’s bats went to work in the seventh, leading the inning off with three straight singles to load the bases. Millers’ starter Brandon Acosta struck out Zach Dibble for the first out, in the next at bat he was able to get a taylor-made double play but the Millers bobbled the ball in the infield, they got one out but the runner was to score from third.
With two outs Acosta then walked Matt Spillman to load the bases for the second time in the inning. Swift Current then hit a two-run single to take a 5-2 lead.
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh the Millers were able to get runners at first and second for left fielder Frank Pluskota who blasted a three-run home run over the left field wall to tie the game at five.
Moose Jaw went back on the attack in the eighth. Catcher Cole Warken led the inning off with a single then moved up to second on a Danny Lokesak single up the middle of the infield. Derek Cornell advanced the runners on a sacrifice bunt, and then Austin Russell brought in Warken on a sac fly to give the Millers a one-run lead.
Jorge Pantoja came out of the Express bullpen to work the ninth, shutting down the Indians offense to propel the Millers to the win.
Acosta picked up the win, he allowed five runs on eleven hits while striking out seven and walking one over eight innings.
Frank Pluskota finished the game 2-for-5 with three RBI’s, Miles Hunter was 2-for-4 with an RBI, Austin Russell was 1-for-3 with an RBI, and Cole Warken was 1-for-4 with an RBI.
Moose Jaw’s record improved to 7-5 on the year, they’re back on home field Saturday to take on the Yorkton Cardinals. Marc Smith has all the action on www.mjmillerexpress.com starting at 7pm.