By Randy Palmer

Moose Jaw takes 6-2 win in seven innings on Canada Day, rally late for 11-7 win on Tuesday

MOOSEJAWTODAY.COM — The Moose Jaw Miller Express are all of a sudden the hottest team in the Western Canadian Baseball League’s East Division.

The Express ran their win streak to four games with back-to-back victories over the Edmonton Prospects, taking a 6-2 win over their West Division opponents at Ross Wells Park on Canada Day and following up with an 11-7 in the rematch on Tuesday night.

As a result, Moose Jaw is now 16-13 on the campaign and sit tied with Medicine Hat for second place in the East Division at the midway point of the 56-game season, four games back of the Regina Red Red Sox.

Moose Jaw 6, Edmonton 2

With rain threatening throughout the evening, the two teams were able to get 6 ? innings in before the skies opened and brought the game to an early end.

Fortunately for the home team, things had gone well to that point. Moose Jaw took a 3-2 lead out of the fourth inning and a three-run sixth made it 6-2, where things would finish up.

Wyatt Tweet was 1-for-3 with a run-scoring double in the sixth and a pair of runs batted in, while Robert Estrada was 2-for-2 with a run scored and Ethan Bear 2-for-2 while also crossing the plate twice.

Zach Barnao hit a solo home run to lead off the fourth and had a pair of RBI for the Prospects, while Josh Cote reached base twice.

Ethan Merk turned in a quality start for the Express, allowing two runs on six hits while striking out four over six innings. Drew Sorrentino got one out in the seventh before things were rained out.

Travis McDougall went five innings for the Prospects, allowing six runs on six hits. Ying-Ju Chen pitched the sixth and struck out the side.

Moose Jaw 11, Edmonton 7

After a low-scoring start, things heated up in the middle innings, beginning when Moose Jaw scored four runs in the fifth to take a 6-3 lead. 

Edmonton came right back with three of their own the next frame to tie the game, but the Express went up by a pair in the bottom of the sixth and then tagged on three insurance runs in the seventh. The Prospects got one back in the ninth, but that’s as close as they’d get.

As the score would indicate, it was another good night for the Miller Express bats. Nate Mensik and Owen Robbins each hit solo home runs, while Nathan Houston was 2-for-4 with a run and RBI, boosting his team-best average to .402. Darren Hagan was 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI; Bobby Pokorney and Marcerio Allen each scored a pair of runs.

Matt Vasquez started on the mound for Moose Jaw and was solid once again, allowing three runs on five hits and striking out five. Julian Gonzalez surrendered three runs on three hits while getting two outs in the sixth; Jaden Canelli finished the frame and ended up taking the win. Westin Walls pitched the final three innings and was all but lights out, allowing one hit, one unearned run and striking out three.

Edmonton used seven pitchers, with only starter Brandon Russell going more than a 1 ? innings, pitching the first two and giving up a single hit while striking out three. Tyler Sharples (one inning, two runs), Dillon Bowie (one inning, no runs), Thomas Stawarz (? inning, four runs), Joe Stawarz (1 ?, two runs), Kam Sparrowhawk (one inning, three runs) and Jordan Singleton (1 ?, no runs) also saw action.

The Miller Express are back in action Wednesday night when they travel to Weyburn, with next home action Friday when they host the Swift Current 57’s for a doubleheader. Game times are 6:05 p.m. and 8:35 p.m. at Ross Wells Park.