(Marc Smith, DiscoverMooseJaw.com) The Moose Jaw Miller Express' return to the post-season was cut short on Friday night as the team lost out to the Swift Current 57s in four games.
Swift Current scored a 6-1 win over Moose Jaw in Game 4 at Ross Wells Park, ending the Millers' season.
“We cut down the strikeouts and we put balls in play and they just went right to people, so it was one of those nights where baseball happened and unfortunately it happened in an elimination game,” said Millers head coach Michael Hunt after the game.
The Millers connected with baseballs throughout the night, finishing with nine hits, but every time they had a chance to put some runs across, a hard hit ball found its way into a 57s glove.
“That was a tough one, we almost had as many hits as them, but just found gloves and couldn't get guys around,” said Millers first baseman Ben Dalke. “It just wasn't going our way today and it's a tough way to end it.”
After splitting the first two games on the road in Swift Current, the Millers couldn't find a way to earn a win at home, falling 8-4 in Game 3 on Thursday to put their season on the line on Friday night.
“There's magic sayings, they're a good club, they got hot at the right time and they're going to give the next team a good series too,” said Hunt.
Swift Current opened with one run each in the first two innings and that lead held for the rest of the game.
The 57s added two runs each in the seventh and eighth innings to seal the win.
Moose Jaw broke up the shutout in the ninth inning when right fielder Ty Schnidel led off with a single and eventually came around to score.
Schnidel went 2-for-3 in the loss, while second baseman Scott Platt and designated hitter Grant Westmoreland also picked up two hits in the loss.
The Millers only had three hitters fail to reach base.
Millers starter Hunter Kloke gave Moose Jaw a chance to win, holding Swift Current to just two runs on seven hits over six innings. He struck out five and walked two.
Relievers Travis Edgar surrendered two runs in the seventh and Galen Andrews allowed two runs in a 1/3 of inning in the eighth.
Dalke came on after and pitched the next 1 1/3 innings, allowing one hit and striking out three to hold Swift Current at six runs.
With the win in Swift Current's grasp in the ninth, the Millers turned to senior Bo Sheridan to give him one final appearance after he was roughed up in Game 3. He got the final out of the inning.
“He wasn't expecting it and when we told him his eyes got pretty big and it was against the guy that hit two home runs off him (Thursday), so he got that out and he's pretty satisfied with it,” said Hunt.
Swift Current starter Mitch Guiberson threw six shutout innings to set up the win for the 57s. He struck out two and gave up six hits.
The 57s will now face the Weyburn Beavers in the WMBL's Eastern Division final, which gets underway on Monday in Swift Current. The Western Division final will have the Edmonton Prospects taking on the Medicine Hat Mavericks.