By Randy Palmer
May 27th, 2023

Beavers score pair of runs in bottom of sixth, go on to 3-2 victory as Moose Jaw kicks off Western Baseball League campaign

The Moose Jaw Miller Express might not have had the result they wanted to open their Western Canadian Baseball League season on Friday night in Weyburn, but there were still positives just the same.

The Beavers scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and would go on to a 3-2 victory at Tom Laing Park, emerging with the win in a solid pitching duel between the two teams.

Both Moose Jaw starter Kellan Voggesser and Weyburn starter Owen McConnell got off to great starts, with the duo leaving the game with the Expres holding a 2-1 lead.

Voggesser went four innings and allowed a single run on a pair of hits while striking out five and walking two, while McConnell went five and surrendered a pair of runs on three hits and struck out four with a pair of walks.

After Weyburn opened scoring in the second inning, Millers newcomer Thomas Soto scored Moose Jaw’s first run of the season. The Tyler Junior College infielder drew a one-out walk, advanced to third on an error and scored on a ground out by Parker Dorrance.

A pair of Express veterans connected to give Moose Jaw the lead in the fourth, as Luke Lachance brought home Austin Gurney to give the Express a 2-1 lead.

Drinkwater product Kaleb Waller took over from Voggesser in the fifth and struck out the side in his first appearance, but wouldn’t have as much luck in the bottom of the sixth.

After the Millers left the bases loaded in the top of the inning, back-to-back base hits by Weyburn’s Ryan McCarthy and Ryan Muizelaar put runners in scoring position. A passed ball and a Trent Lawson single would then bring home the tying and go-ahead runs.

The Beavers’ bullpen would go to work from there.

Brett Patterson pitched  three innings and limited the Express to a pair of hits and a walk, while Jacob Clark loaded the bases in the top of the ninth but escaped without any damage.

While Moose Jaw was only able to put up a pair of runs, it wasn’t for a lack of opportunity — they had runners in scoring position in five innings, including the aforementioned ninth that saw the bases-loaded with one out. Clark was able to get Dorrance to ground out and Chaz Poppy to strike out to end the game.

Jake King made his first appearance on the mound for the Millers in the eighth and went two innings, allowing a hit and striking out four.

Soto led the way offensively with a 2-for-4 night that included his run scored.

The Miller Express and Beavers will do it all over again tonight in Moose Jaw during the home opener at Ross Wells Park. First pitch is at 7 p.m. and the first 600 fans to enter the park will receive a special Miller Express cowbell.