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Gallagher named 2018 team MVP

Marc Smith/DiscoverMooseJaw

On the eve of the Western Major Baseball League's 2018 Playoffs, the Moose Jaw Miller Express came together to honour this season's top performers.

Blake Gallagher was the night's big winner as he took home the team's Most Valuable Player honour after putting together a consistent and versatile season for the Millers.

"It feels good, it was a long season, all the guys contributed and it was a toss up, anyone could have been the team MVP," said Gallagher after receiving the award.

The Fredericton, New Brunswick product was able to contribute at the plate, in the field and on the mound for the Millers throughout the season.

Gallagher finished the regular season with a .296 batting average, which was third on the team, with three doubles, a triple, two home runs and 14 RBI in 34 games. He also walked 16 times and stole six bases.

On the mound, Gallagher was also third on the team in appearances, coming in to pitch in 13 games and finishing with 20 strikeouts in 15 innings. He sported a 1-0 record with a 4.80 earned run average.

In the field, he spent the majority of his time at second base, finishing with a .927 field percentage, making just eight errors in 223 innings of work over the summer.

"I felt good, at some points I felt better than others, it was a long season, but these guys made it easy to come to the ballpark everyday so I enjoyed it," Gallagher said.

"This summer was a blast, it was a great time, the community has been great to us, especially the host parents and we had a good connection and bond with the team this year."

The Pitcher of the Year award was split between Mitchell Robinson and Mason Garispe this season. This was Robinson's second straight season winning the award.

Robinson finished fifth in the WMBL with a 2.62 ERA in seven starts, posting a 1-1 record with one save. He was also eighth in the league with 51 strikeouts compared to just 12 walks.

"It feels great, it’s an awesome accomplishment to achieve, obviously I couldn't have done it without the defence behind me, all these guys are awesome and I love them," said the Golden, Colorado product.

Garispe was the strikeout king in the WMBL this season, finishing with a league-high 67 Ks in 50 2/3 innings. He went 4-3 overall in nine starts with one complete game and a 1.48 WHIP.

Returning player Scott Platt took home the Silver Slugger award as the team's top hitter, posting a .299 batting average with a team-high nine doubles, one home run and 13 RBI. He also had nine stole bases in 41 games.

Outfielder Eric Marriott won the team’s Gold Glove award as the season's best fielder. Marriott played in 41 of 48 games, suiting up in 356 2/3 innings and he made just one error, which came in the second last game of the regular season last Friday in Regina.

The Coach's Award was given to catcher Ty Barclay, who played 32 games behind the plate this summer. He hit .211 with four doubles and 16 RBI.

The Millers will open the playoffs on Tuesday night in Weyburn.

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