Yakel stellar in Sunday win over Melville
Ryder Yakel spun a gem for the Moose Jaw Miller Express on Sunday night.
The Larkin, Kansas product struck out eight as he threw a complete game shutout for the Millers in a 5-0 victory over the Melville Millionaires at Ross Wells Park.
"That was probably one of my best starts ever," said Yakel after the game. "I really located well and just felt really good."
Yakel needed just 105 pitches to get through the nine innings and he seemed to get stronger as the game went on, striking out the side in the eighth and ninth inning to put an exclamation point on the win.
"It was fantastic to see that out of him, we've got the start of eight (games) in a row, so it saved a bit of the pen and it's got to give him a lot of confidence going forward," said Millers head coach Michael Hunt.
"He kept the ball down and kept them off balance with several pitches, so that speaks for itself."
Yakel only allowed four hits over the nine innings and walked one. He said he just kept it simple with a fastball-slider combo and mixed in a few change-ups and it worked out.
"First pitch strikes, trying to get ahead of batters is huge, so that's what I tried to do," said Yakel.
Moose Jaw gave Yakel some run support right from the start as first baseman Ty Roseberry drove in a run with a single in the first inning.
The score remained that way until Moose Jaw scored twice in the fifth inning. Second baseman Blake Gallagher came around for his second run of the game on a single by outfielder Ty Schindel, who would come around to score the second.
The Millers tacked on another run in the sixth and one more in the seventh for some more cushion and Yakel handled the rest.
Schindel was 2-for-3 with two runs scored, an RBI and a walk in his season debut.
The win was the fourth straight for the Millers, who are now five games over .500 at 17-12 on the year. They sit 2.5 games back of the Regina Red Sox for second place in the Eastern Division.
Hunt said the Millers are starting to find their stride again, "Any win gives you momentum, but we still have a bunch of games left and anything can happen. As long as we can keep having at least three things work at least average, it gives us a chance," he said.
The Millers will be in Regina on Monday night for a key divisional game against the Red Sox. First pitch is at 7 p.m. from Currie Field.