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Millers Cruise Past Cards in Home Opener

Marc Smith/DiscoverMooseJaw

You couldn't draw up a much better start to the season for the Moose Jaw Miller Express on Thursday night.

Moose Jaw's first eight batters reached base and came around to score in an eight-run first inning and they rolled to a 9-3 win over the Yorkton Cardinals in the Western Major Baseball League season opener at Ross Wells Park.

"For the first game, we took good at-bats, found a lot of barrels and it's fun to start from there and move forward, only improving," said outfielder Alex Hendra-Brown after the win.

Hendra-Brown finished 4-for-5 with three RBI in the victory for Moose Jaw. He drove in a pair of runs with a single in the first inning to help get the party started.

The Millers sent 13 hitters to the plate during the first inning as the Cardinals didn't record an out until the nine-hole hitter in Moose Jaw's lineup.

Yorkton starter Austin Skelhorn didn't make it out of the first, allowing eight runs on three hits with four walks to take the loss.

On the other side, Millers starter Mitch Robinson had an up-and-down opening inning, allowing the Cardinals to score two unearned on two walks and an error.

He settled down after that however, keeping Yorkton off the board over the next five innings and finishing with ten strikeouts, including six looking, and two walks to secure the win.

"My stuff was decent, I've taken a break since I got done playing school ball, I threw one pen before this, so my arms going to be a bit sore tomorrow," said Robinson after the game.

"I was struggling a little bit after they got those two runs and got some time to think in the dugout, our hitters got us some runs and it's easier to pitch with the lead."

The Millers' pitcher of the year last season looked like the staff ace for the team in the opening day start as he mowed down Cardinals hitters over five innings of work.

After graduating as a record holder from the University of Nebraska-Kearney, Robinson said he's looking to lay it all out on the line here in Moose Jaw this summer.

"I graduated, so I'm out of eligibility there, so this is kind of my last summer, so I'm excited to go out with a bang playing up here," he said.

Cortland Hampton came on in relief of Robinson, allowing one run on one hit over two innings. He struck one and walked two.

Third-year veteran pitcher Jesse Marks finished the game, giving up three hits over two shutout innings with one strikeout.

The Millers finished the game with ten hits, but they also worked five walks and had two batters reach after being hit by a pitch.

First baseman Ty Roseberry finished 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBI.

Shortstop Ty Lightly picked up Moose Jaw’s only extra base hit, a double in the sixth, while finishing the night 2-for-4 with a run scored.

Lead-off hitter Eric Marriott reached three times, scored once and had a stolen base in the win.

"It was a good show, we'll see what other squads have, but I like our guys and I think we're going to go far, so I'm excited," said Hendra-Brown after the opener.

"Scoring eight runs in one inning is something, but we're going to find barrels a lot this year and do some damage."

The Millers return to the field at Ross Wells Park on Friday night to host the Swift Current 57s. First pitch is at 7 p.m.

Swift Current is coming off a 4-3 loss to Weyburn at home on Thursday night, while in other opening night action, the Edmonton Prospects rolled to a 7-1 win over the Lethbridge Bulls.

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