A busy week ended on a losing note for the Moose Jaw Miller Express on Sunday night.
The Millers capped off a stretch of seven games in six days with a 12-2 loss to the Swift Current 57s on Sunday at Ross Wells Park. The loss gave Moose Jaw a 2-5 record during their busy stretch over the last week and puts the team’s record at 20-22 on the season.
Millers outfielder Brooks Benson didn't feel like the team ran out of steam in their loss to Swift Current, despite splitting a doubleheader the night before against Weyburn.
"We could have competed a bit more at the plate, but we put some good swings together; defence, we had some mishaps here and there, but they also hit the ball, so you have to give credit there," said Benson.
Sunday's game felt much closer than the score indicated as the 57s were on the attack right until the end of the game. Moose Jaw seemed to just need a big hit early to get their momentum going, but they never got it.
"Balls were hit hard, but right at guys and we didn't get that timely hit and it is what it is, that's baseball," said Benson, who accounted for two of Moose Jaw's four hits in the loss.
Swift Current scored five in the top of the second, but Benson hit his fourth home run of the season with a big blast in the bottom half of the frame to make it 5-1 after two.
After seeing his batting average drop below .200, Benson has found a groove with a four-game hitting streak that includes two home runs and six RBI.
"I've kind of just calmed down and just let it all happen," said Benson. "I just want to enjoy this because I'm senior."
The 57s struck again with two runs in the top of the fourth and Moose Jaw responded with another solo home run, this one coming of the bat of Ty Schindel, his first of the season.
Swift Current continued to add to their lead with one in the eight and four more in the ninth for the lopsided win.
Millers starter Mason Garispe struggled with his command in the loss, as he walked four and was tagged for seven runs on six hits. He struck out four in four innings.
Nick Falco was the most effective pitcher out of the pen for Moose Jaw, holding the 57s scoreless over three innings. He allowed two hits, walked one and struck out four.
Tannar Galey surrendered one run on one hit in the eighth inning and Blake Gallagher allowed four runs -- two earned -- on three hits in the ninth inning.
Swift Current starter Garrett Hawkins allowed two runs on two hits with three walks and seven strikeouts in five innings to pick up the win. Aaron Pugh and Spencer Koelewyn threw two shutout innings of relief each to seal the win.
The Millers will now enter the final week of the regular season with a playoff spot locked up and looking to build some momentum for the post-season.
"We need to keep competing and don't give into the frustrating, just like Coach Spencer just told us," said Benson. "It's going to be a long five-day stretch on the road, but we get to play some teams and try to beat up on them."
Moose Jaw opens their five-game road swing in Melville on Tuesday; they head to Yorkton on Wednesday; then Weyburn on Thursday; Regina on Friday; and back to Weyburn on Saturday.
The Millers will end the regular season on Sunday when they host the Millionaires at Ross Wells Park.