Express win on walk-off mishap
Derek Cornell was mobbed by his teammates in centre-field.
© Katie Brickman
Bronson Larson, catcher for the Saskatoon Yellow Jackets prepares to tag out Aiden Stinnent of the Moose Jaw Miller Express at home plate during Western Major Baseball League action on Tuesday at Ross Wells Park. Times-Herald photo by Katie Brickman
With one out and one on in the bottom of the 12th inning, Cornell broke his bat, sending a dribbler down the third base line.
Brendan Erickson, the fourth pitcher for the Saskatoon Yellow Jackets, threw the ball into right field.
That allowed Drew Danzeisen to score the winning run as the Express walked-off with a 6-5 victory on Tuesday at Ross Wells Park.
“Personally, absolutely,” Cornell said of this being the most bizarre way he has won. “I have never seen a broken bat walk off hit or whatever that was.”
It was a balanced game from both teams, but six errors by the Yellow Jackets did them in.
“It is always good when you play these long ones to get the win,” said Cornell. “We have been butting head with those guys a lot, so it is good to win the real close one and stick it to them and to make them go home sad.”
The Yellow Jackets scored in the first inning after hitting back-to-back hits off starting pitcher Todd Leavitt.
Leavitt would settle down to pitch eight solid innings for the Express, giving up four runs on nine hits, walked three and struck out two.
Jorge Pantoja and Connor Keating also came through in relief and kept the Express tied in four innings.
“Even though we did have the extra three innings, we didn’t quite empty the bullpen,” said Michael Hunt, head coach of the Express. “So, we will still have guys fresh. We are in a good place.”
Hunt took blame for mistakes he made on the base-paths, which costs the Express some possible runs and forced the game into extra innings.
“It lies squarely on my shoulders,” Hunt stated. “I made a lot of mistakes tonight and the lads certainly did a good job of picking me up.”
The Express had another solid game at the plate, getting 15 hits.
Danny Lokesak had a good night, going 4-for-5 with two runs. It was a game that boosted his confidence, especially since he was critical in moving Danzeisen to second base.
“In that (12th) inning when Drew got on, I knew I would be bunting him over and it worked to execution. On that last play, it speaks for itself for that game,” said Lokesak. “I saw the ball excellent tonight. A lot better than I have previously. My swing is coming around, but our team, offensively has been outstanding so far and has picked me up.”
The Express have no time to recover from this extra innings game, as they head on the road tonight against Regina and then to Swift Current on Thursday before returning home to Ross Wells Park on Friday.
“It gives us some momentum going into the week,” said Lokesak. “It is grind, but we are in first place and we will keep on going.”
Follow Katie on Twitter @katiebrickman.