By Randy Palmer July 5th 2023
Four-run fourth inning the difference as Moose Jaw takes 6-3 victory over defending champions
The Moose Jaw Miller Express have had their share of up-and-down moments through the first half of the Western Canadian Baseball League sason, but things have pretty much been on point in recent outings.
As a result, the local squad finds themselves in the midst of a four-game winning streak, including a 6-3 victory over the league-leading Okotoks Dawgs on Tuesday night at Ross Wells Park. Two nights earlier, the Express put together one of their best all-around games of the season in a 10-4 victory over Weyburn.
Moose Jaw now holds a 19-10 record and have taken a four-game lead over the Regina Red Sox for first place in the WCBL East Diviion while also boasting the second best record in the league over their last 10 at 7-3.
Moose Jaw 6, Okotoks 3
As one would expect from the two top teams in the league, things were close in the early going as the Millers’ Kellan Voggesser and Dawgs’ Gavin Wuschke found themselves in a pitching duel.
Both would leave after three innings of work without allowing a hit and the game scoreless, with Vogesser striking out three and allowing three walks, while Wuschke struck out a pair.
Moose Jaw’s offence was the first to come alive in the fourth inning, as they’d pound out their four runs thanks to five singles and a walk. Luke Lachance had the big hit in the inning, with his bases-loaded knock bringing home Austin Gurney and Chaz Poppy. Lachance finished his night 2-for-4 with a run to go along with his two RBI.
Jake King took over from Voggesser on the mound and kept Okotoks in check, allowing a single run on four hits and striking out six over the next four innings. Haldon Craig pitched a scoreless eighth and Brayan Villar finished things off, allowing a pair of runs in the ninth.
Julio Acosta had a two-run double in the seventh and Dougie DelaCruz was 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Moose Jaw 10, Weyburn 2
The Express scored three runs in the second inning and never looked back on their way to their comfortable win in Weyburn.
Dawson Tweet led the way offensively with a 3-for-6 night that included a double and four runs batted in. Chaz Poppy had a single hit in five trips to the plate but made it count with a two-run single in the eighth, giving him three RBI on the night.
Michael Speck was 2-for-3 with a run, while Acosta and Lachance scored a pair of runs apiece.
Cameron Dunn got the start and allowed a run on two hits over five innings before the bullpen put on a show the rest of the way. Zach Sigmon allowed a run and struck out a pair in the sixth before Julian Gonzalez struck out the side in the seventh, Craig tossed a scoreless eighth and Gabe Soto finished things off with a pair of strikeouts in the ninth.
The Miller Express are back in action on Wednesday night when they rematch Okotoks. Game time is 7 p.m. at Ross Wells Park. The four-game homestand continues with a doubleheader on Friday against Weyburn before they close out the week Sunday against Regina.