Express double up Dawgs

Katie Brickman
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Cornell just misses the cycle

The Moose Jaw Miller Express made a statement with their bats.

Brady Rogers of the Moose Jaw Miller Express lays down a bunt single against the Okotoks Dawgs in Western Major Baseball League action on Wednesday night at Ross Wells Park. Times-Herald photo by Katie Brickman

Almost every starting player made a difference at the plate for the Express, as they doubled up the Okotoks Dawgs 16-8 in Western Major Baseball League action on Wednesday night.

The Express pounded 18 hits throughout Ross Wells Park, including Derek Cornell just missing the cycle.

Cornell had four hits — a single, a double and two triples — and added four RBI to lead the offensive attack for the Express.

 “It was just a normal approach and swinging at good pitches,” said Cornell. “He was in the zone, the starting guy, for the most part. Whenever he came in the zone, we put good swings on it.”

The Express got started in the second inning, scoring four runs and continued the onslaught from there.

The team was able to chase Dawgs’ starting pitcher, Connor Lillis-White after three innings.

He pitched for the Express two summers ago and was making his return to Ross Wells Park.

Lillis-White gave up six runs on eight hits, one walk and five strikeouts over 82 pitches.

“We had a chat before the game,” said Brennan Reidy of the Express. “It was good to see him. I did see him a couple of times in B.C. It was good to face an old friend.”

Okotoks only committed two errors in the game, but the Express took advantage of passed balls and utilized their speed to get their offence going.

Brady Rogers and Reidy got the bench excited in the fifth inning as they hit back-to-back home runs.

Rogers was a three-run bomb and then Reidy welcomed Shawn Andersen into the game with a solo shot on the first pitch he saw.

“When Brady and Reidy hit those back-to-back home runs … those are two guys that are spark plugs and fire everybody else up,” said Cornell. “When they hit those two bombs, everybody else wanted to get their hit going and we did that.”

That was Reidy’s first career WMBL home run and he was still smiling about it after the three-hour game.

“It felt pretty good. They brought in a new pitcher and I was just coming out hacking. We were up a bunch of runs and I guess it just went out for me,” Reidy explained. “I have to give a lot of credit to the guys. In my first two at-bats, I got jammed by pitches and the guys came out and said I looked anxious. They knew I was seeing the ball well, but I needed to calm down. I guess the story tells it.”

The Dawgs scored in every inning but the fourth and ninth inning, but the damage was limited to a couple solo home runs from Mario Sanchez, Jerod Bartnik and two from Jake Simmerman.

“They hit a lot of home runs, but we weren’t letting guys get on base before that,” said Cornell. “A home run is only one run unless other guys are on base. Offensively, we getting guys on and moving them over and driving them in.”

The teams will face off again tonight (7 p.m., Ross Wells Park) and after facing seven Dawgs pitchers already after the first game, the Express have a do not give up mentality.

“Everybody had a good game tonight and that is going to boost everybody’s confidence,” said Cornell. “But, coach (Michael) Hunt did say that we are real high right now, but what will show who we are is if we can come back and do the same thing and not like them beat us like we beat them. That will be the real test.”

Follow me on Twitter @katiebrickman.

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