(Story courtesy Marc Smith, DiscoverMooseJaw.com) The Moose Jaw Miller Express started strong on Wednesday night in Weyburn, but it was how they finished that gave them trouble.
After taking a 3-1 lead after three innings, the Millers managed just one hit over the next six innings and couldn’t overcome a four-run sixth inning for the Beavers, who went on to win 5-3.
“The approach that we had in the first few innings was fantastic, we got guys on and were able to manufacturer a lot of things, but then the pitcher made a good adjustment and we lost focus and couldn’t get it back,” said head coach Michael Hunt after the loss.
Moose Jaw drops to 3-10 on the year with the loss.
Hunt said the team needs to put together more complete games.
“We had a pretty healthy discussion after the game about that,” he said. “We want to make sure that we can compete for nine innings, not just the first three and try to coast through the rest.”
An RBI-double by first baseman Chris Suarez in the second inning opened the scoring for the Millers, but Weyburn answered right back in the bottom half of the frame, scoring an unearned run on an error.
The Millers took a 3-1 lead in the second with centerfielder Shoma Sasaki and shortstop Jordan Abushahla both pushing across a run with back-to-back singles. Moose Jaw scored two runs on three hits in the inning, but then went cold after that.
Weyburn took the lead in the sixth inning, scoring four runs on three hits with one error by the Millers helping them out as well.
“Those innings are going to happen, (starting pitcher Jesse) Marks was cruising, he did a really good job of keeping his pitch counts down, but when they get second and third times through the order, you’re going to see different swings from guys and that’s what happened,” said Hunt.
“We just didn’t take care of business offensively, we had a lot of opportunities to do it and we just came up short in that respect.”
Marks went seven innings, giving up five runs – four earned – on nine hits. He struck out one and walked just two. Mark Baughman finished the game, pitching a scoreless eighth.
Logan Lund picked up the win on the mound for Weyburn, allowing three runs on five hits over seven innings of work. Moose Jaw worked two walks off him and struck out three times.
Austin Perez and Eric Evans pitched two scoreless innings of relief to seal the win. Evans was perfect in the ninth inning for the save.
At the plate, right fielder Cutter McDowell went 2-for-3 with a double, a run scored and a walk in the loss.
The Millers will continue their five-game road trip on Thursday night in Medicine Hat for the first of two games against the Mavericks. They also meet on Friday night.
The next home action for the Millers is coming on the weekend when they host the Edmonton Prospects on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.