Fight for home field advantage in playoffs on the line in final games
It was a “circus” like marathon game in Melville on Monday night.
Moose Jaw Miller Express
However, the Moose Jaw Miller Express came out unscathed with an 18-9 victory over the Millionaires in Western Major League Baseball action.
“Everything and anything (happened),” said Michael Hunt, head coach of the Express. “I don’t know how to explain it … two (Melville) player ejections and an umpire ejection.”
Hunt wouldn’t elaborate more on that situation to avoid the possibility of being disciplined by the league.
It was a marathon game, lasting three hours and 36 minutes.
The Express got on the Millionaires early and often in the first and second innings, taking a 7-0 lead.
They were able to chase starting pitcher Tres Tyler after just 1 1/3 innings.
“The boys came to hit and we certainly hit mistake pitches and we had a great approach to the plate and got a lot of walks,” said Hunt.
However, the Millionaires battled back in the third inning to take the lead after scoring eight runs off starter Josh Janzen.
“In that third inning, they found holes. Josh didn’t walk the world, but they just found the holes. We did right the ship real quick after that,” said Hunt. “It is really unfortunate that inning happened because it makes it looks like he was having a tough day, but they found a lot of holes and that one inning really isn’t indicative of the outing he had.”
Like Hunt said, the Express were able to right the ship later in the game after scoring four runs in the seventh and tacked on six more in the ninth inning to secure the victory.
“We saw a lot of pitches and guys had some great days,” he said. “Ben Douglas went 5-for-5 and you can’t knock that at all.”
Austin Russell also had a decent night at the plate, going 3-for-6 with a double and a triple, along with three RBI. Frank Pluskota also went 4-for-6 on the night.
The Express headed into the game chasing the Swift Current Indians for the Central Division title. However, the Indians defeated the Yorkton Cardinals on Monday night to lock up the division.
“With Swift Current winning, there is no way we can win the division now,” stated Hunt.
The Express will face the Indians in a home-and-home series to end the regular season. Although the division isn’t open, there is still a lot left on the line — home field advantage.
“Now we are jockeying for second or third place in the playoffs,” said Hunt.
Follow Katie on Twitter @katiebrickman.