The Moose Jaw Miller Express were in a tight game in Game 1 of their first round series with the Weyburn Beavers, that was until Weyburn exploded for eight runs in the sixth inning and went on to win, 10-3.
A 1-1 game turned into a rout as the Beavers scored eight runs on eight hits and one walk to blow the game open.
"They do a real good job of taking advantage of mistakes and we had a couple of lapses in concentration that cost us big time," said Millers head coach Michael Hunt. "Every game that we played against them, it seems that there is one big inning that we can't avoid."
Drake Pilat hit a three-run home run with no outs to kickstart the inning and the Beavers were able to collect three extra base hits in the frame to pull away from the Millers.
"We just need to concentrate a little bit harder, take a little bit more pride in our preparation, we've got some quality people up and down the lineup and we've just got to find a way to not Charlie Brown ourselves," said Hunt.
Moose Jaw and Weyburn were locked in a pitcher’s duel up until that point. Hunt said that’s what they were expecting coming into this game.
"We're familiar with Ryan Johnson, the starter they threw, he's a quality, quality starter and we talked about it at length with our players about we could do to be effective against him, and everything was going to plan, it was a pitcher's duel, but then that one big inning and there was no looking back," said Hunt.
The game was scoreless until the fifth inning when an RBI-single from Blake Gallagher with two outs scored Ty Barclay to open up the scoring.
Weyburn answered in the bottom half of the fifth when Anthony Galindo scored on a groundout to second by Corey Wheaton.
Moose Jaw couldn't make any noise in the top of the sixth, but the Beavers went to work right from the start with Keaton Greenwalt and Wade Weinburger both smacking singles to get on base for Pilat's home run.
That chased Millers starter Mitchell Robinson from the game as he allowed four runs on seven hits and one walk in 5+ innings of work. He struck out six in the loss.
Nick Falco came on after Robinson and got his first batter out, but he was then tagged for five runs on five hits and one walk over the next 2/3 of an inning.
Galindo scored one run on a single, Felix Correa cleared the bases with a double that scored three runs and then Weinburger cashed in Correa with a single. That ended Falco't night as Travis Edgar came on to get the final out of the inning and end the damage.
Edgar threw 1 1/3 shutout innings with three strikeouts, while Matt Perry allowed one unearned run on one hit with two strikeouts in the eighth.
Moose Jaw put runners in scoring position in the seventh and eighth innings, but they couldn't bring them around.
In the ninth, Markus Gregson and Ty Schindel worked back-to-back bases loaded walks to score two runs with two outs, but that was all the offence that Moose Jaw could muster.
Johnson went five innings, allowing one run on five hits and two walks with nine strikeouts for the Beavers. Dalton Ross picked up the win, throwing two shutout innings of relief, giving up one hit and one walk, while striking out three.
"All we can do is regroup, refresh and go into tomorrow with a solid state of mind," said Hunt on how the Millers will bounce back in Game 2.
The Millers and Beavers meet for Game 2 on Wednesday night at Tom Laing Park. First pitch is at 7 p.m. The series shifts to Moose Jaw for Game 3 on Thursday at Ross Wells Park.