The Moose Jaw Miller Express are on the board.
The local Western Major Baseball League squad beat the Swift Current Indians, 6-5, on Sunday night to record their first win of the season.
After losing five straight games to open the season, the Millers were happy to finally get into the win column.
“It’s real nice. We’ve been preaching and preaching about staying the course and today we found a way to win,” said head coach Michael Hunt.
“It’s got to be a confidence boost, that was the first one of the year and the message was that we did it with duct tape and glue, so it’s definitely nice to preach and preach about staying the course and have it finally work.”
The Millers have been playing with a patch work team over the first two weeks of the season as they wait for more players to arrive, which they’re expecting to start the new week.
Cutter McDowell, who arrived on Friday, made his presence felt on Sunday with an RBI-single in the top of the ninth that drove in the eventual winning run for the Millers. That capped off a 3-for-4 night.
Catcher Cole Warken was huge in the win as he finished 4-for-5 with three RBIs and a run scored in the win.
The pitching got the job done for the Millers and the hitting came through when they needed it.
“We did make a couple of miscues, but they didn’t really hurt us and the nice thing was that it wasn’t head and, ‘Oh, here we go again,’ kind of thing, everybody picked each other up and we got timely hitting when we needed it,” said Hunt.
Bo Sheridan got the start on the mound and went four innings, giving up three runs on five hits, while striking out four and walking two.
The bullpen went to work the rest of the way, giving up two unearned runs on just three hits over the next five innings. Travis Kuhn picked up the win, pitching the eighth and ninth as the Millers came back.
“We’re moving Bo back into the rotation again, so we’re trying to work his pitch count back up, we had him at 80 today, and then the plan was that we had a full bullpen and two days off, so we were going to get guys in there and it was nice to see Travis Kuhn get the win in a role that we’re expecting him to be in,” said Hunt.
Moose Jaw opened the scoring with runs in the first and second innings, but Swift Current battled back to take a 3-2 lead after scoring two in the fifth.
The two sides traded runs in the sixth before Moose Jaw scored a pair on a double from Warken in the seventh. Swift Current again tied the game in the eighth when Thomas DeBonville came around to score on Alec Humphreys’ single.
In the ninth, a leadoff single by Shoma Sasaki started off the rally and two batters later, McDowell drove him in with a single to centrefold that put Moose Jaw in front for good.
Relief pitcher Austin Simokaitis took the loss for the Indians, giving up the winning run in the ninth inning. Brody Burnett started the game and surrendered three runs — two earned — on six hits over five innings.
The win improves Moose Jaw’s record to 1-5 on the year. They’ll return to the field on Wednesday in Yorkton and then they host Weyburn on Thursday night at Ross Wells Park.