Final Express home game on Tuesday
After winning four straight games, the bats went quiet for the Moose Jaw Miller Express.
© Katie Brickman
Drew Danzeiesen of the Moose Jaw Miller Express hits a double in the bottom of the fourth inning at Ross Wells Park on Sunday evening. He would come around to score the lone Express run on a wild pitch. The Express had their four game winning streak snapped by the Regina Red Sox. Times-Herald photo by Katie Brickman
It didn’t come at a great time either as the team continues to try and push to the top spot in the Central Division.
However, the Regina Red Sox came into Ross Wells Park and won 5-1 in Western Major Baseball League action on Sunday evening.
“It was tough. We put out what we could after getting back at five in the morning,” said Express shortstop Drew Danzeisen. “Our offence was a little down, but we will pick it back up again. We couldn’t get guys on to get things happening.”
The Express looked like they were within striking distance of scoring some early runs after they forced Regina’s starting pitcher Labradford Griffis to throw over 30 pitches in the first inning, but they stranded three runners instead and were impatient at the plate.
“We need to take more pitches and let the pitchers work a little bit more,” said Danzeisen. “Early we had that guy at 36 pitches in the first inning. If we kept that going, it would have been a little bit better for us.”
The Express only got five hits on the night and Danzeisen was the lone batter that had two hits. He was the lone Express after hitting a double in the fourth inning and came home on a wild pitch.
Brandon Acosta had another solid outing for the Express, giving up three runs on six hits, walked five and struck out eight.
“I just pitched to their weaknesses. I thought I held them pretty good, but they got a couple bloopers after they started figuring out my pitches,” said Acosta. “There wasn’t much run support, but the other pitcher (Griffis) was good at shutting us down.”
Acosta threw 119 pitches overall and had to work himself out of a couple jams, including the seventh inning after the Red Sox loaded the bases. He got a sacrifice fly and strike out to end that threat and keep the Express close.
“I like the pressure, but sometimes I put myself in those when it is not good, but I like being in those situations,” said Acosta. “I usually come out on top and I only gave up one run, which was good.”
On Saturday, the Express clinched their spot in the playoffs after sweeping a double-header in Edmonton. The two teams were supposed to play on Friday and Saturday, but the game on Friday was postponed due to rain.
In the first game, the Express won 3-1 with Terry McNabb pitching solid again. He went the full seven innings, giving up just one run on eight hits and struck out eight.
In the second game, the Express scored three in the first inning and didn’t look back, en route to a 5-3 win over the Prospects.
Despite losing to Regina, the confidence is still high for the Express, who have three more regular season games left.
“Those next three games are important,” said Danzeisen. “We have good pitchers in line and our bullpen is coming in throwing strikes. We have a lot coming into these next few games.”
The Swift Current Indians beat Medicine Hat on Sunday as well and now have a two game lead in the Central Division.
The Express will play the Indians in a home-and-home to end the season on Tuesday (7 p.m., Ross Wells Park) and Wednesday.
“It could all come down to the end, which would be exciting baseball,” said Danzeisen.
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