Express return home in a 2-0 hole in WMBL playoffs
The Moose Jaw Miller Express are down to their last chance.
© Ryan McCracken/Medicine Hat News
Aidan Stinnett hits a single for the Moose Jaw Miller Express in their Game 2 loss to the Medicine Hat Mavericks in their best-of-five WMBL playoffs series.
The Express lost 10-8 to the Medicine Hat Mavericks Saturday. The Express return home trailing the best-of-five Western Major Baseball League quarter-final series 2-0.
They will look to stave off elimination Sunday at Ross Wells Park at 7 p.m.
The Express nearly dug themselves out of a big hole in Game 2 in Medicine Hat as they chipped away at the Mavs lead, but failed to complete the comeback.
The Mavs got the upper hand early and scored six runs in the fourth inning to take a 7-0 lead.
Bryan Arthur led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a walk and six straight Mavs batters singled before the Express managed a single out.
Express ace Terry McNabb didn’t make it past the fourth inning after he gave up seven earned runs and 10 hits.
The Express got on the board in the fifth with a three-run rally as Frank Pluskota, Miles Hunter and Aidan Stinnett each hit RBI singles with two out.
The Mavs replied with three runs of their own in the bottom of the fifth to give them a 10-3 lead. Sheldon Daquioag hit a two-run double to cap the rally.
The Express kept working away at the Mavs bullpen.
They scored a run in three straight innings to cut the lead to 10-6, but stranded five runners in those three innings.
In the ninth, the Ben Douglas and Austin Russell led off the inning with singles for Moose Jaw. Pinch runner Brennan Reidy and Russell both came around to score.
After the lead-off singles, Mavs reliever Myles Richards came in to get the final three outs and earn the save.
Mavs starter J.P. Stevenson won his first game since June 13 as he allowed eight hits, but only three runs over his five innings of work.
The Express had 15 hits, but stranded 10 runners for the second straight night.
Hunter was 3-for-4 with two RBI and a double for the Express. Danny Lokesak was 3-for-5 with a run, while Pluskota, Stinnett and Russell each had two hits.
Mavs lead-off hitter
Michael Forgione was 4-for-5 with two runs and two RBI. Daquioag and Blake Rowlett both drove in three runs.
After pulling McNabb, the Express turned to Zach Shelstad who gave up three more runs in two-thirds of an inning of work in the fifth. Connor Keating only allowed one hit over 2 1/3 innings of relief and Jorge Pantoja struck out two batters in a flawless eighth inning.