By Randy Palmer June 17th, 2023
Defensive miscues lead to four-run seventh inning for Gulls and 7-6 win in extra inning
The Moose Jaw Miller Express will undoubtedly be looking to tighten things up defensively after a series of untimely errors helped the Sylvan Lake Gulls to a 7-6 extra-inning victory in Western Canadian Baseball League action Friday night.
Three errors in the bottom of the seventh inning led to the Gulls scoring four runs to tie the game a four, and after Moose Jaw took a 6-4 lead in the top of 10th, Sylvan Lake would score three in their half of the frame for the walk-off win.
The result was especially tough in that it came on the heels of another stellar start from Brayan Villar. The Miller Express hurler gave his team a quality start, holding the Gulls without a run and scattering five hits over six innings while striking out four.
In three appearances this season, Villar has pitched 15 ? innings and allowed a single run while striking out 17 and allowing only three walks. His 0,58 earned run average is second-best in the WCBL.
The Milers gave Villar some run support in the fourth inning, as Bobby Pokorney hit a two-run single to bring home Dougie DelaCruz and Wyatt Tweet for the first runs of the game. Pokorney himself then made it 3-0 when Thomas Soto reached on an error.
Soto scored the Express’ fourth run in the seventh, crossing the plate on a Chaz Poppy ground out.
That set the stage for the bottom of the inning, with Express reliever Julian Gonzalez absorbing most of the damage — four runs allowed, none earned, on a single hit and a pair of walks.
Jake King would finish things off, tossing a scoreless eighth and ninth before the Gulls struck for their three runs in the 10th.
Soto and Dawson Tweet scored Moose Jaw’s runs in the top of the 10th.
It was yet another solid game at the plate for Tweet, as he went 3-for-4 with a run scored and boosted his league-leading batting average to .519.
Hank Dodson was 2-for-3 with four RBI for Sylvan Lake, while Gulls starter Nic Veselinovic had a quality start of his own, going six innings and allowing three runs, two earned, while giving up five hits.
Tyler McWillie pitched the final four innings for the Gulls and allowed three runs on three hits.
Moose Jaw fell to 10-5 with the loss but remain 2 ½ games up on the Regina Red Sox for first place in the East Division as well as a half-game back of Okotoks for first place overall in the WCBL.
Moose Jaw and Sylvan Lake are right back at it on Saturday night at Gulls Stadiium, with the game available to watch on www.hometeamlive.com/