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Merk flirts with perfect game as Miller Express roll to win in Regina

Moose Jaw starter carries perfect game into eighth inning before settling for one-hitter in 7-1 victory
Miller Express Med Hat Merk
Miller Express pitcher Ethan Merk came five outs away from a perfect game on Sunday in Regina.

It stands to reason that as a Regina native, Moose Jaw Miller Express pitcher Ethan Merk is plenty comfortable in the confines of Currie Field.

That familiarity undoubtedly played a part in how things went for the second-year veteran against the Regina Red Sox in Western Canadian Baseball League action on Sunday afternoon.

Merk would carry a perfect game into the eighth inning but would settle for a one-hitter in a 7-1 victory for the Miller Express.

The scary thing is Merk hadn’t even hit 100 pitches when things were broken up and had he escaped the frame, might have even had enough in the tank to finish the job. As it stands, Red Sox hitter Dylan Edmonds hit one-out, 2-2 offering into right field in the bottom of the eighth to break up Merk’s perfecto.

Merk would get out of things without allowing a run, with a single hit and a single error on his ledger. He’d finish with 100 pitches on the nose, 68 of them for strikes, and six strikeouts.

Millers newcomer Zach Sigmond pitched the ninth and allowed a single run on two hits.

Moose Jaw wasted little time getting things going offensively, as they put up a pair of runs in the first, extended the lead to 5-0 through two and 6-0 through three.

Cristian Yanez led the Miller Express offence with a 2-for-3 showing that included a double, run scored and run batted in. Luke Lachance was 2-for-3 with a run and RBI, while Dougie DelaCruz crossed the plate twice.

Jonathan Henry got the start for Regina and look the loss, lasting a single inning and giving up five runs on three hits and two walks.

The two teams are back at it on Tuesday night at Ross Wells Park, with first pitch at 7:05 p.m.

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