Express begin road swing with loss in Swift Current

Matthew
Matthew Gourlie
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Four-game trip begins with divisional loss

The Moose Jaw Miller Express dug themselves a hole they couldn't climb out of Saturday.

Moose Jaw Miller Express

Despite losing  9-3 in Swift Current, one of the Express' best attributes this season has been their ability to bounce back after a loss. As they head into a key stretch of the season, Express head coach Michael Hunt is expecting to see his team rebound.

"If you look at our body of work we have not — knock on wood — lost many games in a row so far this year. We expect to bounce back well Tuesday in Lethbridge," said Hunt. The Express have lost no more than two games in a row so far this Western Major Baseball League season.

The double-header in Lethbridge will be the first game of a four-game road trip through Alberta. The Express are back home Friday when they host Medicine Hat for the start of a two-game set at Ross Wells Park.

"It's going to be a good test for us," said Hunt. "It's like an Alberta swing. Even though we come back home, our next two games are against Medicine Hat. That's six games in a row against the Alberta teams. They're strong. It's a good division and it will be good to see where we're at."

Saturday's game against Swift Current was the start of a stretch that will see them play 10 of their next 13 games on the road.

The Indians snapped the Millers three-game winning streak Thursday night at Mitchell Field and they didn't waste any time getting ahead Saturday.

Eros Modena hit a two-run home run in the first inning for the Indians and in the third inning Swift Current used five hits to plate four runs as they grabbed a 6-0 lead after three innings.

"It was a great game. You take away those first couple of innings and it was a really close, scrappy ball game. They got on a roll and got a rally going in the first couple of innings and that's really what happened," said Hunt.

Moose Jaw's offence had shown the ability to score runs in bunches, but Indians ace Sean Callegari held them at arm's length for most of the game. He allowed three earned runs off of eight hits as he pitched 7 1/3 innings to lift his record to 3-0 on the season.

"Swift Current is a good team and their pitcher Sean Callegari is a very good pitcher. He kept the ball down and we couldn't elevate. We got a lot of hits, but we got a lot of singles," said Hunt. "It's hard to get the ball in the gaps when the pitcher keeps the ball down in the zone like that."

Express lefty Rusty Edwards had a tough outing as he only lasted three innings and allowed six earned runs and eight hits. Josh Janzen had a solid effort in long relief. He pitched five innings and gave up one earned run and four hits over that span.

Austin Russell led the Express attack. He was 3-for-5 on the day. He led off the sixth inning with a single and came around to score to get Moose Jaw on the board.

Danny Lokesak hit a two-run single to cut the lead to 6-3 in the top of the eighth inning, but the Express would get no closer.

Aidan Stinnett had two hits for Moose Jaw and also scored a run. Ben Douglas drove in the other Express run.

The Express' record drops to 12-8 on the season, but they retain a 1.5 game lead over Swift Current in the Central Division standings.

Organizations: Western Major Baseball League

Geographic location: Swift Current, Alberta, Lethbridge Medicine Hat Ross Wells Park Moose Jaw

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