Rolling in wins

Katie Brickman
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Spencer picks up first win in great outing

The defence was solid. The offence was productive. The pitching was stellar.

Tanner Spencer of the Moose Jaw Miller Express powers off the mound at Ross Wells Park earlier this season. Times-Herald photo by Katie Brickman

Everyone was clicking for the Moose Jaw Miller Express as they won their third straight game.

“All three areas did well,” said Michael Hunt, head coach for the Express.

The Express defeated the Regina Red Sox 9-4 in Western Major Baseball League action on Wednesday at Currie Field.

A big third inning was the difference maker for the Express. 

They sent 10 batters to the plate and exposed Jesse Baird, who walked four in the inning. He didn’t make it out of the second inning and was charged with his second loss of the year.

On the other side, Tanner Spencer had a great outing to pick up his first win of the season.

He went eight innings, giving up two runs on five hits, struck out three and didn’t walk a batter.

“It was a bit of a mental change. Rather than trying to swim upstream, he tried to let baseball happen,” said Hunt of the difference in Spencer. “We have talked with him extensively over the last little bit here just about his approach and how to get through that wall.”

Having veteran catcher Hank Stewart behind the dish also helped Spencer.

“Hank is here and has gone through Tommy John surgery as well, so having Hank here the last couple of days has helped him just reassure himself that things will get better,” said Hunt. “It is not a physical thing; it is more of that mental aspect. It has been a good couple of days for him.”

As good as Spencer was on the mound, his teammates backed him up in the field. Spencer pitched for contact and the Express were able to turn three double plays in the game.

“We just made easy plays look easy and with the difficult ones, they are going to be difficult no matter what, but we didn’t make baseball hard,” said Hunt.

With a healthy lead throughout the game, Hunt was able to utilize his bench as well.

“It was good. We want to make sure that our guys are staying sharp,” said Hunt. “We want to get guys in positions that they are comfortable in and it worked out that we were able to do that.”  

With this win, the Express have now put together a season-best three game streak and now have a four-game cushion in the Central division over Swift Current and a five-game lead over Saskatoon.

“The more distance we can put between ourselves and the next team and the third place team is all the better,” said Hunt.

The Express will play Swift Current tonight as they try to extend their win streak to four games. The Indians have lost two straight games as well.

Follow Katie on Twitter @katiebrickman.

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