(Marc Smith, DiscoverMooseJaw.com) In a complete reversal of the night before, the Moose Jaw Miller Express jumped out to an early lead and rolled to a skid-snapping win on Thursday night.
Moose Jaw did all their damage in the first two innings, taking a 6-0 lead and then beating the Lethbridge Bulls, 6-3, at Ross Wells Park.
“We’ve been struggling lately, so everyone collectively tonight just said, lets lay back, have fun and just play baseball,” said third baseman Lane Harvey on what changed for the team to snap out of their funk.
“That’s just how baseball is, you’ve just got to make sure that when stuffs not going your way, you’ve got to stay positive.”
The Millers sit at 19-21 on the year after the win and picked up some valuable momentum going into two games this weekend.
The game started with Moose Jaw hitting everything in sight over the first two innings, starting with Harvey leading off the game with a single. He came around to score the opening run on a wild pitch.
Harvey set the table all night long for the Millers, finishing 4-for-5 with two runs scored.
“I was just trying to stay aggressive, wait for (the Lethbridge pitchers) to make a mistake and take advantage of it,” said Harvey.
Catcher Zach Fascia continued to swing a hot bat as he went 3-for-4 with two RBI, both coming in the first two innings as he helped Moose Jaw build up the lead.
Fascia said getting off to a strong start was really key for the team after falling behind 4-0 in the first inning against the Bulls on Wednesday night.
“We were really tensed up for the last couple of games, so we just came to the ballpark for batting practice today and were just thinking lets have fun today and that’s what we did, winning is fun,” said Fascia.
“It felt good to come out of the gates hot, swinging the bat. We’d like to get a couple more runs later in the game, but six in the first two innings that should be good enough to win.”
Designated hitter Cole Warken was also 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI.
The Millers posted six runs on nine hits over the first two innings, but the bats stayed hot for the rest of the game as they finished with 15 hits on the night, however they couldn’t bring around any more runs.
That six-run lead was more than enough as the Millers only stumble came in the third inning when starter Grant Westmoreland lost his control a bit, walking the bases loaded and giving up three runs.
“He got behind batters in that inning, that’s where he struggled, but as soon as he started working ahead again, he was real effective,” said Fascia.
Westmoreland picked up the win, going five innings, allowing three runs on four hits with six walks and six strikeouts.
Zach McDonald threw two shutout innings; Galen Andrews pitched a no-hit eighth and Dalke came on for the save with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
After losing the first two games of their five-game homestand, the Millers are feeling good about getting back in the win column.
“We’ve been struggling and we hadn’t played well in front of the home crowd in a while, so we got a win in front of the home crowd and it felt good,” said Fascia.
The Millers will get Friday off and then host the Swift Current 57s on Saturday afternoon at 2:05 p.m. They welcome in the Yorkton Cardinals on Sunday night at 7:05 p.m.