(Marc Smith, DiscoverMooseJaw.com) A four-run first inning was too much to overcome for the Moose Jaw Miller Express on Wednesday night.
Lethbridge jumped out to a big early lead and Moose Jaw couldn’t battle back as the Bulls pulled off a 5-0 win at Ross Wells Park in Western Major Baseball League action.
Millers starting pitcher Tanner Emes settled down after that first inning, but Moose Jaw’s offence never found their footing, picking up just two hits in the loss.
“They put up a four-spot in the first inning, but there was a lot of zeros after that for both sides; our guys hit the ball hard, not all night, but we hit the ball hard and right at guys; their kid threw strikes and didn’t walk a lot of guys and kept our guys off the bases,” said Millers assistant coach Cory Olafson.
Emes allowed the first five hitters to reach base, giving up four runs in the first inning, but he didn’t allow another hit until the fifth inning to give Moose Jaw a chance to get back into the game.
He ended up going seven innings, surrendering five runs on 11 hits. He struck out five and walked just one.
“It was a rough start and from a pitchers standpoint, it’s tough to focus after that, but Tanner buckled down and threw a great game after that,” said Olafson.
Despite picking up only two hits, the Millers had a runner on base in six of the nine innings, but they could never find a way to get things rolling after falling into the earlier hole.
Olafson said the team needs to stay positive coming out of a game like this.
“The bats have been a little cold lately and we thought the energy level was down a little bit, and it’s a grind, there’s 48 games and it’s tough to stay up for every game, but the message was just keep doing what you’re doing and the balls will eventually start to fall in,” he said.
Lethbridge starter Wesley Moore threw seven innings of two-hit ball. He walked four and struck out two.
Lane Harvey and Cole Warken picked up Moose Jaw’s two hits, while Cutter McDowell walked twice in the loss, which was the Millers' fourth straight, dropping their record to 18-21 on the year.
“Tomorrow is another day, hopefully we can put up more than two hits, this is the WMBL, anything can happen,” said Olafson.
The Millers will get another shot at the Bulls coming up on Thursday night when the two sides meet at Ross Wells Park. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m.