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Late-game surge sees Brooks take lopsided win over Miller Express

Bombers score eight runs over final two innings, go on to 13-4 win over Moose Jaw in Western Canadian Baseball League action

MOOSEJAWTODAY.COM -- The Moose Jaw Miller Express found themselves in a low-scoring battle against the Brooks Bombers in Western Canadian Baseball League action on Wednesday night.

For six innings, at least.

After that, the Bombers bats burst into action led by the long ball, and it all led to the Express taking a 13-4 loss in their first West Division road game of the 2024 WCBL campaign.

Moose Jaw falls to 2-2 with the loss and sit in third place in the East Division, 1 ½ games back of the unbeaten Regina Red Sox (3-0).

Things were close in the early going, as Brooks answered a first-inning run by the Express with a pair of their own and took a 4-1 lead with another two runs in the third. Moose Jaw got back within one with a two-run sixth inning, but that would be the last good news on the night for the local squad, as the Bombers replied with one in the bottom of the frame before putting up three more in the seventh and a further five in the eighth to close out scoring.

After getting off to a bit of a slow start in the first three games, veteran Nate Mensik saw his bat come alive, hitting a solo home run in the sixth inning and following up with another solo round-tripper in the eighth. Mensik capped his night with a 3-for-4 showing that included a pair of runs scored and three runs batted in.

Elijah Bear also got in on the power act, hitting his first WCBL home run immediately after Mensik in the sixth inning. The Express continued to see Nathan Houston swing a hot bat, as his 2-for-4 night at the plate saw his average continue to sit at .500, while lead-off hitter Thomas Soto was 2-for-5 and is now hitting .385 on the campaign.

Those might seem like gaudy numbers, but they were nothing compared to what Antony Gilbert and Will Bomersbach put together for Brooks, with the two combining to bring home 11 runs for the Bombers.

Bomersbach led the way as Brooks put up their big late innings, first hitting a three-run home run in the seventh and then cracking a grand slam in the eighth. All told, he’d finish 2-for-5 with two runs and seven RBI.

Gilbert had a perfect game at the plate, going 4-for-4 with four runs scored and four RBI, largely in part thanks to two-run home runs in the first and third innings.

Zander Bretza also had a solid night at the plate with a 3-for-5 showing that included a solo round-tripper in the sixth.

All told, five of Brooks’ 13 hits on the night were home runs.

On the mound, Matt Vasquez got the start for the Express and had a serviceable outing, allowing four runs on five hits and striking out four over five innings. Things were tougher for relievers Julian Gonzalez and Garrett Houston, though, as Gonzalez allowed four runs on four hits over two innings and Houston struggled with his control, walking four and giving up five runs on four hits in the eighth.

Brooks starter Jack Leary held the fort for the Bombers, giving up four runs on nine hits and striking out 10 over 7 ⅓. Tyson Kilbreath closed things out, giving up a single hit over the final 1 ⅔ innings.

The two teams rematch at Elks Stadium in Brooks on Thursday night before the Miller Express return home to face the Fort McMurray Giants on Friday, with first pitch at 7:05 p.m. at Ross Wells Park.

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