Plenty of fight, but no comeback for Express

Matthew
Matthew Gourlie
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The Moose Jaw Miller Express have battled to the final out all season.

Georgie Santiago, left, second baseman for the Yorkton Cardinals tagged out Derek Cornell from the Moose Jaw Miller Express as he tried to steal second base during WMBL action Friday night at Ross Wells Park.

It's their reaction during games that has head coach Michael Hunt a little concerned.

The Express fell behind early and couldn't fight their way back Friday night as they lost 7-4 to the Yorkton Cardinals in Western Major Baseball League action.

"I'm not concerned about consistency in terms of how we're playing, but consistency in terms of how we're handling adversity," said Hunt. "We know we're going to make a couple of errors — and today was relatively clean and the last couple of games have been relatively clean — but it's the way we don't handle adversity is slightly concerning." 

The Express (19-17) will look to get back on track tonight (7 p.m., Ross Wells Park) against the Weyburn Beavers before travelling to Yorkton Sunday afternoon for a rematch against the Cardinals.

Moose Jaw has had a hard time scoring in the early innings and fell behind 7-0 after the top of the fifth.

"There's no quit from innings one through nine or one through nine in our order. There's no quit, nobody gives in anywhere. It's just handling things that don't go your way. That's as much part of the game as hitting and pitching is," said Hunt who said all he can do is keep focusing on the player's approaches. "You can't open up brains and take a screwdriver and move things around. You have to just keep preaching, preaching and preaching until they drink the Kool Aid."

The Express actually had 11 hits and had five doubles, but were only able to create four runs out of that.

"It was a tough day all around," said Hunt.

"We had a lot of soft contact. We swung the bat well, we just got a lot of soft contact off of it and we didn't make adjustments fast enough."

Nick Gotta and Kameron Mizzell each hit two-run home runs in the fifth inning as Yorkton built their 7-0 lead.

Mizzell finished 3-for-3 with three runs.

The Express used a Cardinals error to prolong the game in the ninth inning. That set up an Austin Russell RBI double which left runners on second and third. Andrew Soloman nearly beat out the game-ending ground ball, but Yorkton's Ben Grillo was able to tag him after the throw pulled Grillo off the bag.

Russell drove in a pair of runs and Danny Lokesak was 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI.

Starter Rusty Edwards allowed seven earned runs and seven hits over five innings. Shortstop Drew Danzeizen got a rare outing on the mound and only allowed two hits over two scoreless innings. Connor Keating had two perfect innings of relief as well.

The Express were playing their fourth game in a row and eighth in nine nights. In addition to Danzeisen stint on the mound, Bryce Crosbie got his first at-bat in 10 days and Brennan Reidy split duties with Ben Douglas in the designated hitter spot.

"We had the split the DH, that was designed to get Reidy some at-bats," said Hunt. "We had some designed things happen today. We have to get guys at-bats somehow."

 

Organizations: Cardinals, Western Major Baseball League

Geographic location: Yorkton, Ross Wells Park, Moose Jaw

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