Express can't capitalize on chances in Melville

Matthew Gourlie
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The Moose Jaw Miller Express did a lot of good things Monday.

Moose Jaw Miller Express

It was what they didn't do that cost them.

The Express saw two errors turn into three unearned runs and they stranded 13 runners in a 6-5 loss to the Melville Millionaires in Western Major Baseball League action.

The Mills scored an unearned run in the first inning to grab a 2-0 lead. It was a 3-2 game in the bottom of the sixth, when the Express' second error of the night was part of a three-run Melville inning which ended up being the difference.

"The errors all seemed to happen in that one inning again," said Express head coach Michael Hunt. "Wacky things happen in Melville. It's a tough place to play. They had a couple of base hits off of the fists that dropped in behind."

The Express had 12 hits, five walks and one batter hit by a pitch, but they couldn't turn that into more production.

They loaded the bases with none out in the third and only got one run across. They loaded them again in the seventh and didn't score. In the fifth, they had two men on with none out and failed to score and an inning later the inning ended with Express runners on second and third.

"We had guys with opportunities and just couldn't punch one across," said Hunt. "Our body of work has been a little like that. We get guys up that you really want to push for and they've come up clutch, but they're not going to do it every single time. We expect everybody on our team to come up big in those clutch situations, but the reality is that their pitcher is working hard and trying to get us out. The reality in baseball is that more often than not the pitcher is going to win that battle. 

"You can't get too upset when the pitcher does his job."

Hunt was upset enough that he was ejected in the eighth inning. Hunt said it was more of an accumulation than one incident that got him charged up.

"There were a couple of real questionable things that sucked the momentum out of the game," said Hunt. 

The Express scored three runs in the eighth. Drew Danzeisen reached on an error and was driven home by Austin Russell. Derek Cornell singled and stole second base and Aidan Stinnett drove in two runs with a double to cut the lead to 6-5

Danziesen and Frank Pluskota also hit doubles for the Express. Russell was 2-for-5 and drove in two runs. Stinnett, Danzeisen and Cole Warken were also all 2-for-5 at the plate.

Todd Leavitt gave up nine hits over seven innings and only three of the six runs he surrendered were earned. He also struck out seven batters.

"He threw very well. It's just unfortunate that we couldn't get the W for him," said Hunt.

Bennett Oliver was 3-for-4 with two RBI in his second game with Melville. Zach Holley led off the game with a triple and scored twice for the home side.

The Express (15-12) will give Tanner Spencer the start tonight when they return home to host the Swift Current Indians (7 p.m., Ross Wells Park). The Express enjoy a 1/2 game lead over the Indians in the Central Division standings.


Organizations: Western Major Baseball League

Geographic location: Melville, Swift Current, Ross Wells Park

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