The Moose Jaw Miller Express might have needed a pair of comebacks and even extra innings to find the win column in their final two games in Edmonton against the Prospects, but it all turned out in the end as the Express picked up 6-4 and 6-5 victories in their two most recent Western Major Baseball League contests. They opened the series on Canada Day with a 12-2 loss.
Moose Jaw now sits at 13-12 on the season, 5 ½ games back of the Eastern Division-leading Regina Red Sox and 3 ½ games up on the Melville Millionaires for the final playoff spot.
Express 6, Edmonton 5
Darrell Doll scored from third on a wild pitch and Cole Warken crossed the plate on an error to pitcher David Wylie in the top of the 10th inning as the Express rallied for the narrow win.
Miller Express starter Matt Jackson turned in a solid performance, scattering six hits over seven innings and giving up a single unearned run. That was good enough for a 4-1 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth before Edmonton rallied for three runs, a pair of those coming off a two-out single off the bat of Travis Hunt.
The Prospects would get one back in the 10th and put the tying run on second, but Michael Ross would get the final out to secure the win.
Geordie McDougall finished the game 3-for-5 while Warken and Zach Campbell each scored a pair of runs.
Express 6, Edmonton 4
The Express cranked out 11 hits in six innings off Edmonton starter Austin Cannedy but managed only one run to show for it and trailed 4-1 at that point in the game.
That all changed in the seventh, as Moose Jaw chased Cannedy and would go on to bat around in the inning, scoring three runs to tie the game. That set the stage for Blake Gallagher in the top of the ninth, as he took advantage of an error by the shortstop to bring home Campbell and Markus Melendez with the game-winning runs.
Campbell went 4-for-5 at the plate while Doll was 3-for-6. Each crossed the plate once.
Jeff Nicolosi got the start on the mound, giving up three runs on five hits over five innings. Jaden Hoffman surrendered a run over 2 1/3 innings work before Ross picked up the win after getting the final two outs of the eighth. Jack Gamba struck out a pair in the ninth to earn the save.
Edmonton 12, Express 2
It might have been the long road trip, but the Edmonton swing did not get off to a good start for the visitors.
Gallagher surrendered four runs on eight hits and struck out eight in six innings of work, while Nathan Slobodian and Ethan Soroka could do little to stop the bleeding as Edmonton scored three runs in the seventh and five in the eighth to blow open a close 4-2 game.
McDougall and Warken combined for most of the Express offence, each going 3-for-4 and racking up six of Moose Jaw’s seven hits.
The Express trip continues tonight, Friday and Saturday as they travel to Fort McMurray. Next home action is July 9 to kick off a three-game set with the Brooks Bombers at Ross Wells Park. Game time is 7 p.m. at Ross Wells Park.
Extra innings… It would be tough to find a better game than what Kaleb Warden put together for the Lethbridge Bulls against Brooks on Thursday night… Warden went 3-for-5 with four runs scored and an amazing 10 runs batted in, courtesy of three home runs… Warden hit a solo home run and a grand slam as part of a nine-run fourth inning… He added a second grand slam in the sixth… Incredibly, eight of Warden’s runs were unearned, as both his grand slams came after two-out errors by Brooks… Warden now has seven home runs and a league-leading 43 RBI on the season.