McNabb and Hunter Express MVPs

Katie
Katie Brickman
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Reidy takes coaches’ award

This season was “equal parts frustrating and equal parts absolute enjoyment” for Moose Jaw Miller Express head coach Michael Hunt.

The Moose Jaw Miller Express handed out their team awards on Tuesday evening. The winners included: Terry McNabb (co-MVP), Brandon Acosta (pitcher of the year), Aiden Stinnent (Silver Slugger), Ben Douglas (Gold Glove) and Brennan Reidy (Coaches' Choice). Missing is Miles Hunter (co-MVP). Times-Herald photo by Katie Brickman

“These guys were fun every day they were here,” said Hunt. “Sure, you have your ups and downs and your disagreements, but every guy was there for everyone else. They were there for the name on the front, not the back.”

The Express recognized some individual feats from over the course of the season on Tuesday evening.

“Some of them are kind of easy, like pitcher of the year and the silver slugger because those are based on numbers,” said Hunt. “Those other ones are the intangibles … the things behind the lines that the fans don’t necessarily see.”

Aiden Stinnent won the Western Major League Baseball League rookie of the year honour as well as the Silver Slugger for the best batting average in the league — an award he also won on the Express.

The Vista, Cali. native had an average of .393 in 43 games, just beating out Miles Hunter with a .391 average.

“It was a surprise, but at the same time, I knew I had the highest batting average, so I kind of expected it,” said Stinnent. “It was a great achievement personally and I am happy I got it.”

Moose Jaw native Ben Douglas won the gold glove award for the team. He made three errors on the season and had 277 put outs as well in 34 games at first base.

Brandon Acosta won the pitcher of the year award for the Express. With a 3.18 ERA over 68 innings, he kept the team in close games.

“He came in as a bullpen guy and turned into our pitcher of the year,” said Hunt. “His record maybe didn’t look like pitcher of the year type, but some of his losses were one-run games when we only had two hits.”

The coaching staff selected Terry McNabb and Miles Hunter as the co-most valuable players.

When presenting this award, Hunt stated that both were leaders on and off the field.

McNabb was the fourth best pitcher in the WMBL with an ERA of 2.48 and had a record of 8-1 on the season.

“It feels good. It is a resemblance of all the hard work you put into baseball your whole life. It is nice to have a little appreciation for it. It means a lot to me personally,” said McNabb of the award.

Despite missing 15 games, Hunter was second in batting average on the Express.

“Miles brought a lot. He had clutch hitting and was a great kid in general,” said McNabb. “He kept everyone locked in and focused.”

Hunt and assistant coach Cory Olafson also handed out the coaches’ choice award to the player they felt went “above and beyond” what was asked of them.

This was the hardest award to give out, Hunt said, as all the players go above and beyond at different parts of the season.

However, when giving out the award, he stated that this particular player kept “everyone up and loose no matter the circumstances and gave 110 per cent.”

Brennan ‘Captain Canada’ Reidy was chosen for the award.

During his speech, he guaranteed that “next year was his year” and that he would take three or four of the team awards.

“In the last three weeks when the morale was a little bit down and we were in a bit of a slide, when Todd (Leavitt) left and we were on smoke and mirrors with Tanner (Spencer) and the innings we had left with him … he just did everything he could to keep the team alive and kept the dugout alive,” stated Hunt on Reidy. “Every day it was something different or incessantly the same. BP (batting practice) was fun and he certainly kept guys loose from pitch one to the last one in the game.”

Although the team loses a handful of graduating players and some others will not return next summer, Hunt feels the team is going in the right direction.

“These are the kinds of years you build off and every year has been slowing progressing to get to be a .500 and above team and being competitive and being the team,” he said.

Follow Katie on Twitter @katiebrickman.

Organizations: Western Major League Baseball League, BP

Geographic location: Cali, Moose Jaw

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