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Vasquez pitches eight-inning gem as Miller Express roll to win over Swift Current

Veteran hurler allows only four hits as Moose Jaw takes 8-1 victory for third win in last four games
Matt Vasquez pitched eight innings of shut-out baseball on Wednesday night against the Swift Current 57’s.

MOOSEJAWTODAY.COM -- With the way things have gone for the Moose Jaw Miller Express in the first couple weeks of the Western Canadian Baseball League season, getting off to a quick and substantial lead hasn’t always been a harbinger of victory.

But now that things are starting to come together for their pitching staff after a bit of a rough start, that could all change in a hurry.

Case in point, Wednesday night in Swift Current.

The Express scored four runs in the first inning against the 57’s and as it turns out, that was more than enough for starter Matt Vasquez to pick up the victory -- and for good reason.

Vasquez turned in the best start of the season for Moose Jaw, scattering four hits over eight innings to lead the Express to an 8-1 victory and their third win in their last four outings.

The Miller Express improved to 9-7 with the victory and are now within a single game of the Regina Red Sox for the East Division lead.

Vasquez’s stellar outing saw him throw 107 pitches, 72 of those for strikes, and he’d strikeout three and walk a pair. The showing dropped his ERA to 3.22, and the San Antonio product now has the most innings pitched in the WCBL at 22 ⅓ in addition to the most wins, with his record sitting at 3-1.

Garrett Houston pitched the final inning for Moose Jaw and allowed a run on two hits and a walk, but the Miller Express had things well in hand by that time.

After their four-run first, Moose Jaw tagged on single runs in the second and third, and added further insurance with single runs in the sixth and seventh.

Nate Mensik had a solid night at the plate, going 2-for-5 with a double, two runs scored and an RBI. Owen Robbins and Wyatt Tweet had the exact same stat line, going 2-for-5 with a run and two RBI each, with Robbins also hitting a double. Joe Osborn was 2-for-4 with a run scored.

No 57’s batter had more than a single hit, though Kai Gray, Brody Alexandre and Cullen Verville each hit a double.

Lachlan Hockey got the start for Swift Current and allowed six runs on 10 hits over five innings, while Jacob Chandler allowed two runs on two hits in two innings and Matthew Chandler tossed two scoreless innings to close things out.

The 57’s fell to 2-9 to sit last in the East Division.

The Miller Express are back in action on Thursday night when the Regina Red Sox make their first visit to Ross Wells Park this season. Game time is 7 p.m.

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