(Story courtesy Marc Smith, DiscoverMooseJaw.com) It was a rough night at the plate, on the mound and in the field for the Moose Jaw Miller Express on Wednesday night in Yorkton.
Moose Jaw dropped to 1-6 on the year with a 12-5 loss to the Cardinals during Western Major Baseball League action.
“It just wasn’t a very good day all around,” said head coach Michael Hunt. “We didn’t get very many hits, we had a rough day on the hill and we definitely had a rough day defensively, so you get any one of those three things, it makes it very hard, but when you get all three it doesn’t equal a lot of very good things.”
The Millers scored the first run of the game as right fielder Cutter McDowell’s sac-fly scored centre fielder Jeremy Stidham, who led off the game with a double.
That would be the last time that Moose Jaw tasted the lead in the game however as each part of their game ended up failing over the course of the next eight innings to lead to the lopsided loss.
The Millers managed just four hits in the loss and committed four errors.
“When you put guys on free without having to do much, it makes it real hard to keep up with teams,” said Hunt.
Starting pitcher Grant Westmoreland struggled with his command in the outing as he didn’t give up a hit, but allowed the Cardinals to score three runs in his three innings of work. He walked four to go with four strikeouts.
“His location was off, he just really had a hard time finding the plate,” said Hunt.
The Cardinals’ three runs in the third inning gave them the lead and they didn’t look back, tacking one three more runs – only one earned – in the fourth.
After Moose Jaw responded with three runs in the top of the sixth courtesy of a three-run home run by first baseman Chris Suarez to make it 6-4, Yorkton answered with a pair of runs off reliever Kobe Portillo in the sixth.
The defence let Moose Jaw down in the seventh as they committed two errors in the frame, including an inning-opening mistake that opened the door for the Cardinals to score four runs in the frame and take a 12-4 lead.
Moose Jaw added another run in the eighth when Jordan Abushahla walked to lead off the inning and then scored on an error by Yorkton.
The Millers had as close to a full lineup as they’ve seen this season on Wednesday with four players making their season debuts. Suarez was 1-for-3, including his sixth inning home run, in his first game of the year, while Stidham and Abushahla also picked up hits in their debuts.
Catcher Zak Kellogg was also appearing for the first time this season, he went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.
“We knew that we would get guys in and when we did it was going to be a process to get them all acquainted with each other and working as a unit, but it will happen,” said Hunt.
The Millers are back on the field at home on Thursday night as they welcome in the Weyburn Beavers to Ross Wells Park. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m.