Fifth inning frenzy
Miller Express ride six-run fifth inning to defeat the Regina Red Sox
If the Moose Jaw Miller Express are going to meet the Regina Red Sox in the Western Major Baseball League playoffs, they received a big shot in the arm Wednesday night at Ross Wells Park.
Riding a six-run fifth inning, the Express took care of their Eastern Division rivals 10-3 to get their record back to .500 at 22-22.
“It felt good,” said Miller Express third baseman Lane Harvey. “They kind of took it to us the last couple of times we’ve played them in Regina so its nice to get on a role in front of a good crowd and take care of business.”
Grant Westmoreland, a native of Pearland, Tx., got the start for the Express and the lefty gave his bullpen a boost, going seven innings and only giving up one run on three hits and walked only two batters.
“I had a little bit of a rough start last week so I made it a point in the last five days to get a little bit better and put it on Regina and that’s what we did,” Westmoreland said after the game.
Once again, the Express got everything together with great defensce and hitting from the plate. It started early with Harvey, leading off for Moose Jaw, getting a hit right off the bat in the bottom of the first.
Regina switched pitchers in the bottom of the fifth, replacing starter Jake Waters after four innings with only three hits and one run in favour of Preston Minor, who struggled.
After hitting Harvey with a pitch to lead off the bottom of the fifth, the flood gates opened as the Express scored six runs off of five hits before Minor was pulled for Ruddy Estrella. Minor only lasted two-thirds of the inning.
“From the beginning of the game we were hot off our bats,” Harvey said. “We did our jobs and got guys in scoring position for the most part.”
The hits just kept coming in the sixth when Cutter McDowell turned on the first pitch he faced for a solo homerun.
On Tuesday night in Weyburn, a big seventh inning for the Beavers lifted them to a 10-6 victory over the Miller Express.
Moose Jaw put up four runs in the top of the seventh to give them a 6-3 lead. After singles from Pate Katechis and Zach Facio, Adam Cook singled to centre field to score Katechis. Travis Able followed that up by scoring Cook and Facia with another centre field single and Cutter McDowell doubled to score Able.
That’s when wheels fell off for the Miller Express as they gave up seven runs in the bottom of the inning off of six hits. After starting pitcher Bo Sheridan gave up four runs to open the inning, he was replaced by Travis Edgar, who didn’t fair much better as he gave up three runs off of two hits.
Sheridan ended up going six innings, giving up 13 hits and eight earned runs in the loss, lowering his record to 2-4 with a 5.22 ERA.
The wins extend Weyburn’s win streak to five games, while pulling six games ahead of the Miller Express for third place in the East Division.
Results from the Miler Express’ game in Melville against the Millionaires on Thursday night were not available at presstime. Moose Jaw wraps up the home-and-home series with the Millionaires tonight at 7:05 p.m. at Ross Wells Park before wrapping up the regular season on Saturday against the Weyburn Beavers and Sunday against the Swift Current 57s. Both games are at Ross Wells Park at 7:05 p.m.