By Randy Palmer
June 3rd, 2023
Solid starting pitching a key factor as Moose Jaw takes 7-1 win over Swift Current, battle to 4-2 win over Regina
The Moose Jaw Miller Express are one trip through their rotation of starting pitchers, and it’s safe to say the reviews are nothing but positive.
One night after Brayan Villar made his Miller Express debut with five innings of shutout ball in a 7-1 win over Swift Current, season-opener starter Kellan Voggesser was back on the mound and helped lead his team to a 4-2 victory over the Regina Red Sox.
The Express are now 5-1 on the season and hold down sole possession of first place in the Western Canadian Baseball League East Division.
Miller Express 7, Swift Current 1
Villar turned in the best start for Moose Jaw this season on Thursday night at Ross Wells Park, holding the 57s to a single hit over five innings and striking out nine.
That was more than enough to secure the win, as the Express scored their first run in the second inning and tacked on three more in the fifth to give Villar plenty of run support.
It would have been difficult for the Millers relievers to be Villar’s equal, but they gave it a shot — Julian Gonzalez pitched three innings and allowed a single run on two hits before Zach Sigmon tossed a scoreless final inning.
Reigning Miller Express MVP Nate Mensik had seen his season get off to a bit of a slow start by his standards, but that all changed Thursday. He’d go 4-for-5 at the plate, hitting a double, crossing the plate twice and knocking in a run. Mensik saw his average climb nearly 200 points and is now hitting .368.
Austin Gurney had a pair of hits for Moose Jaw, including a triple, while Chaz Poppy also had a pair of hits,
Miller Express 4, Regina 2
Voggesser was his usual all-star self against the Red Sox on Friday at Ross Wells, throwing the first quality start of the season for the Express as he allowed two runs on four hits over six innings, striking out six.
He trailed 2-0 until the fifth inning, when the Moose Jaw bats finally came awake and saw the Millers put up three runs and take the lead for good.
Kaleb Waller took over in the seventh and held Regina to only three hits in two innings of work, and Sigmon would finish things off by striking out the side in the ninth.
Mensik was back at it at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a triple, run scored and two RBI. Dawson Tweet also had a stellar game at the dish, going 3-for-4 with a double, run scored and RBI while boosting his batting average to .500.
The Millers were to play in Medicine Hat on Saturday night, but that contest was rained out. Next up for Moose Jaw are the Weyburn Beavers on Sunday at 2 p.m. at Ross Wells Park.