Express hold off Yellow Jackets

Katie Brickman
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McNabb pitching lights out to start season

The Moose Jaw Miller Express likes to keep this interesting.

Moose Jaw Miller Express

“It certainly seems that way,” said Michael Hunt, head coach of the Express.

The Express held a six-run lead heading into the eighth inning, but held on for the 6-5 victory over the Saskatoon Yellow Jackets in Western Major Baseball League action on Tuesday.

It was another solid outing for Terry McNabb on the mound, going seven innings and only giving up one run on five hits with six strikeouts.

“Another solid outing from Terry. It is something we have come to expect over his four-year span with us,” said Hunt. “I am happy that we were able hold on to it for him.”

McNabb has now pitched in four of the last five games for the Express, coming out of the bullpen for a couple of those games. In 19 innings, he has 24 strikeouts and has an earned run average of 0.47 on the season.

After throwing his seven innings, McNabb handed the ball over to Zach Shelstad, who got roughed up for three runs on two hits in just one-third of an inning.

Josh Janzen was then called upon, but he gave up one run to allow the Yellow Jackets within a run.

“The guys that we had come in tried to do too much and were looking for some strikeouts rather than try and get outs with ground balls or fly outs,” stated Hunt.

The Express then turned to Jason Renner to close out the game, earning his first save of the season.

Through the middle innings is when the Express were able to do some damage. It was only a run or two, but they were able to pull ahead when needed and almost everyone had a hit.

“We went through five innings in a row where we put up and run and that is fantastic production from everybody — top to bottom,” said Hunt.

Miles Hunter went three-for-five with two runs and a RBI. Ben Douglas had three RBI as well to lead the offence.

Many of the newcomers to the WMBL are learning how close this league is and how quickly a lead can disappear.

“We talked about that at the beginning of the year,” said Hunt. “Every player on every team is the guy, a starter, and an all-star or an all-conference guy for their regular teams. So, you can’t take the foot off the gas at any time.”

The Express will now be home for a four-game stretch in five days, beginning tonight (7 p.m., Ross Wells Park) when Okotoks is in town. Todd Leavitt will be on the mound for the Express.

“We want some more confidence … some more comfort level, especially with Ross Wells,” said Hunt. “We now have four in a row at home, so it would be nice to go home and showcase what we have in that stretch.”

Follow Katie on Twitter @katiebrickman.

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