After the kind of season the Moose Jaw Miller Express put together in 2022, it stands to reason they’ll have a whole host of veterans in their line-up when the Western Canadian Baseball League season opens at the end of May.
And as more player signing announcements are released, that’s turning out to be exactly the case.
The team recently announced that Luke LaChance will be making his return to the Miller Express for the upcoming campaign, bringing a solid bat and steady play in the infield to the local squad.
LaChance suited up in 40 games for Moose Jaw last season, including 32 in the regular season as he hit .283 with 18 runs batted in, three doubles and 15 runs scored. The Littleton, Col. product was one of a host of Millers hitters who flirted with a .300 average much of the season, especially when he started to swing a hot bat late in the campaign.
In fact, LaChance saved some of his best work at the plate for the playoffs. After putting together hits in five of six games leading into the post-season, the 5-foot-9, 185-pound utility infielder went on a tear once the games really started to matter, recording at least a base hit in seven of Moose Jaw’s eight playoff contests.
That included a 3-for-4, one RBI outing in the Express’ 2-1 loss to Medicine Hat to open the East semifinal and a pair of hits one night later when Moose Jaw picked up a 7-2 win to force the series to a deciding game.
All told, LaChance would hit .357 in the playoffs, knocking in three runs and crossing the plate twice himself.
LaChance is one of four players who took the field with Moose Jaw from Doane University last season, including WCBL all-stars Kellan Voggesser and Nate Mensik along with outfielder Joe Osborn. Of that crew, Voggesser joins LaChance in having been announced as a returning player for the Miller Express this season.
LaChance is heading into his junior season with the Crete, Neb.-based Tigers, who play in the NAIA Great Plains Athletic Conference. He hit .290 with 17 RBI and 21 runs scored last spring, with the Tigers putting together a 24-4 record in conference and eventually reaching the first round of the NAIA World Series.
Doane opens their 2023 campaign on Friday, Feb. 10 when they host Kansas Wesleyan for a three game set. The following weekend will see the Miller Express’ crew running into a familiar face, as they take on Moose Jaw product Reece Helland and MidAmerica Nazerene on Friday, Feb, 17.
The Doane Tigers’ schedule runs through Apr. 28, followed by the GPAC and NAIA post-seasons. You can follow them at www.doaneathletics.com.
The Moose Jaw Miller Express open their 2023 Western Canadian Baseball League season on Saturday, May 27 when they host the Weyburn Beavers at Ross Wells Park.