Skid snapped in Med Hat

Katie Brickman
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Express keep pace in Central Division with win over Mavericks

The Moose Jaw Miller Express have never lost three games in a row this season.

Ben Douglas of the Moose Jaw Miller Express looks in for a pitch earlier this season at Ross Wells Park. Douglas went 2-for-5 and added 2 RBI on Thursday night againt the Medicine Hat Mavericks. Times-Herald photo by Katie Brickman

They kept that trend going on Thursday night when the snapped a two game skid against the Medicine Hat Mavericks.

The Express got a little bit of everything — small ball, big hits and pitching — to win 9-5 in Western Major Baseball League action.

“We had some guys step up and had some guys do some things they haven’t done in the last couple of games,” said Michael Hunt, head coach of the Express. “It was really great for the confidence and for the team.”

The Express scored three runs in the first inning and four more in the sixth inning using singles and doubles in bunches to score runs.

The approach was no different for the team, but getting those clutch hits have been something the Express has been missing lately.

“We have done the same things we have done over the last several games,” said Hunt. “It is just that we found a lot of holes.”

It was another solid outing for Brandon Acosta, as he went seven innings, giving up five runs on nine hits and struck out two.

Rusty Edwards and Jason Renner were both great in relief, as they pitched two scoreless innings combined.

“It was great. We got Renner in, even though it wasn’t a save situation, but it was a situation we wanted to make sure that we wouldn’t give anything away,” said Hunt.

“It was Rusty’s (bull) pen day and he did miss three weeks to injury, so we wanted to give him mound time and get him comfortable on the mound. It is was a solid effort all around, especially pitching wise.”

With the win, the Express (16-13) continue to keep pace with the Swift Current Indians (16-13) in the Central Division.

“Obviously before the game, we don't care and we go out and do what we have to do,” said Hunt of watching the standings. “After the game, it is nice to know who did what. It all plays into it, but all depends on the percentage.”

The Express did get a bit of a jolt as Miles Hunter was back in the lineup. Hunter left the team last weekend to head off to medical school in Calgary. With Medicine Hat being close by, Hunter was able to join the team for the two-game set against the Mavericks.

He went 0-for-4, but was hit by a pitch and added a RBI with a sacrifice fly.

“The guys enjoy him and he enjoys the players,” said Hunt. “It was a good feeling having him there, for sure.”

It is back to work quickly for both teams as they play again tonight, which will be the series finale as well, but the Express are carrying some confidence now.

“We’ve had success against Medicine Hat and we know they won’t be easy. We still have to bring our A-game,” said Hunt. “If things went differently, the job would be a lot tougher. This is good to build momentum and hopefully build onto Saturday and Sunday for two big division games against Saskatoon.”

Follow Katie on Twitter @katiebrickman.

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