By Randy Palmer

Dennis knocks home Pokorney with winning run in extra inning as Moose Jaw takes 5-4 win; face Sylvan Lake tonight at Ross Wells

MOOSEJAWTODAY.COM — The Moose Jaw Miller Express found a way to solve their Medicine Hat Mavericks problem.

And the solution looked rather simple, as it usually is in the game of baseball — get a string of solid pitching performances and some timely hits, and voila, back in the win column.

After losing their previous three games, all to Medicine Hat, the Miller Express battled to a 5-4 extra-inning win in Western Canadian Baseball League action on Thursday night at Ross Wells Park.

The win gets the Express back to .500 on the season with an 11-11 record in the WCBL’s East Division, with Moose Jaw now five games back of the Regina Red Sox for first place and two games back of the Mavericks.

Bobby Pokorney scored the game-winning run in the 10th, as with the international tiebreaker in play, Darren Hagan laid down a bunt to get Pokorney to third and Garrett Dennis hit a sacrifice fly to centrefield for the walk-off win.

The game had been a tit-for-tat battle right until the extra inning, with the Express finding a way to answer anything Medicine Hat put up.

That included game-tying runs in the first and third innings, and after the Mavericks went up 3-2 in the eighth, Moose Jaw would score a pair to take the lead into the ninth. As the final result shows, Medicine Hat would get one run in the ninth to send things to extras.

Aaron Knuutila made his first start of the season for the Express and turned in a solid showing, allowing two runs on two hits while striking out four over four innings. Moose Jaw’s bullpen took over from there, and unlike previous outings against the Mavericks, were able to largely shut them down.

Ty Thomson and Ethan Merk each pitched a scoreless inning before Jacob Castaneda allowed a run in two innings of work and Takeo Cookson finished things off to earn the win.

Thomas Soto led the offence with a 3-for-4 outing that included his sixth double of the season, while Nate Mensik was 2-for-5 with a run and an RBI. Austin Gurney went 2-for-4 and scored a run; Marcerio Allen went 2-for-4 and also crossed the plate.

Medicine Hat had only five hits total on the night, with Marshall Burke scoring two of their runs. Micah Burke had a run scoring double as his lone hit of the game.

Jacob Petersheim started for the Mavericks and turned in a quality start, surrendering a pair of runs on five hits and striking out five over 6 ?. Dylan Runge allowed two runs on two hits in an inning of work and Joshua Landy pitched the ninth and 10th, giving up the game-winning run.

The Miller Express continue their four-game homestand with back-to-back weekend games against the Sylvan Lake Gulls, with games Friday and Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. at Ross Wells Park.