Express lose an odd game in extra innings

Matthew
Matthew Gourlie
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Moose Jaw Miller Express

The Moose Jaw Miller Express headed west red hot, but since getting to Alberta their game has gone south.

The Express were an inning away from snapping their losing streak twice on Sunday, but failed to close out the win in a 6-5 loss to the Edmonton Prospects in 10 innings.

That loss comes on the heels of Saturday’s 7-3 loss to the Lethbridge Bulls. The Express are now 7-11 in Western Major Baseball League action as they finish their Alberta road trip Monday in Edmonton after losing four straight in the Wild Rose Country.

Prospects 6 Express 5

The Express lost the game in just about the worst way imaginable.

The Prospects’ 10th inning rally began when a dropped third strike allowed a run to advance to first base. After the game was tied reliever Josh Stephenson tried to intentional walk Kevin Czarnecki to load the bases and threw a wild pitch to let Miles Sefton Jr. score from third base and end the game.

“(Cory Olafson) and I talked about that and that’s a play I’ve seen happen for and against — playing and coaching,” said Express head coach Michael Hunt. “When it comes to pitchers and pitch-outs like that you have to slow your arm down and it ends up being a different motion. It’s happened to a lot of good pitchers on a lot of good teams. It’s just really (crappy) that it happened to us.

“I took Josh aside after the game and I told him ‘that wasn’t a one-pitch loss.’”

The Express opened the scoring when Josh Carroll drove in Michael Tittle in the first. Their bats went cold and they trailed 3-1 heading to the eighth.

Ben Wylly tripled in a run in the eighth and in the ninth the Express took a 4-3 lead when Kevin Gratza tripled and Mike Gilleland hit a sacrifice fly.

James Brager had been flawless in his first two relief appearances, but he couldn’t hold the lead in the ninth.

In the 10th the Express regained the lead when Tyler Hayes singled to score Scott Jones, but once again the lead wouldn’t hold up.

Bulls 7 Express 3

Even a start from their ace couldn’t help the Express get on track.

Marshall Dean lost his first start of the season as he allowed four runs and six hits in six innings against the Bulls.

The Express opened the scoring, but the Bulls responded with two runs in the bottom of the inning. It was the same story in the seventh when the Express cut the lead to 4-2, but the Bulls scored two more in the bottom of that inning as well.

Carroll his a solo home run in the eighth, but the Express couldn’t mount a comeback. Wylly scored twice and Daniel Devonshire was 2-for-4 in the loss.

Organizations: Lethbridge Bulls, Western Major Baseball League

Geographic location: Alberta, Edmonton

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