By Randy Palmer July 2nd, 2023
Moose Jaw storms out to 7-0 lead in first two innings, go on to 16-8 victory over Beavers
A beautiful night, a great crowd and a chance to celebrate Canada’s birthday with a big win.
There wasn’t a whole lot not to like about the Western Canadian Baseball League contest between the Moose Jaw Miller Express and Weyburn Beavers if you were the home team on Saturday night, as the Express would pound out a 16-8 victory in front of just over 600 fans on Canada Day.
Moose Jaw improved to 17-10 with their second-straight win and are 3 ½ games up on the Medicine Hat Mavericks for first place in the East Division, while also sporting the second-best mark in the league over their last 10 at 7-3.
The contest saw the Express continue the tradition of wearing special uniforms for the day, with their selection for 2023 featuring a grey-and-white camouflage jersey with ‘Moose Jaw’ across the front. Fans were also treated to a pre-game tailgate party and special draws throughout the evening.
To say the least, they had a lot to celebrate.
The Express wasted no time getting things going, putting up four runs in the first inning, tacking on another three in the second and following the same pattern over the next two frames to lead 14-4 through four innings.
Miller Express manager Eric Marriott called off the dogs from there and began subbing players in off the bench, leading to the offence calming down a touch as things continued.
Moose Jaw veteran Dawson Tweet had seen his leagu- leading average slip a touch in recent games, but that all changed on Saturday night. Tweet put together a 4-for-4 showing with four runs scored, a triple and four runs batted to pace the offence.
Tweet is now once again hitting .500 on the season — 114 points better than the second best hitter in the WCBL — while also leading in runs scored (31), hits (53) and doubles (10),
Chaz Poppy had a solid night of his own, going 3-for-5 with four runs scored and three RBI, while Julio Acosta was 3-for-5 with three runs scored and a pair of doubles.
Dougie DelaCruz and Bobby Pokorney were also 3-for-4 at the plate, with Pokorney knocking in three runs.
Moose Jaw starter Ethan Merk had a tough third inning when Weyburn scored four runs, but was fine otherwise, with those four all he’d give up as he scattered five hits and struck out five over five innings.
Gabe Soto tossed a scoreless sixth and Triston Seitz finished things off, allowing four runs, two earned, on three hits over the final three innings.
The Express are back in action on Sunday night in Weyburn before the biggest series of the season so far — the league-leading Okotoks Dawgs, winners of 10 straight, return to Moose Jaw for the first time since the 2022 WCBL final.
The first game meeting takes place on Tuesday and second on Wednesday, with both games at 7 p.m. at Ross Wells Park.