By Randy Palmer

Moose Jaw can’t make 4-0 lead stick, drop 5-4 decision in 11 innings in WCBL action to fall back to .500

MOOSEJAWTODAY.COM — There are tough ways to lose baseball games, and then there’s what happened to the Moose Jaw Miller Express on Sunday afternoon.

Holding a 4-0 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth against the Saskatoon Berries in Saskatoon, the Express would give up four runs and eventually drop a 5-4 walk-off decision in 11 innings in Western Canadian Baseball League action.

The loss knocked the Express back to .500 at 7-7 on the campaign, but thanks to the amount of parity in the East Division this season, they remain in third place and only two games back of the Medicine Hat Mavericks for first place.

It’s safe to say that Miller Express starter Declan O’Hare deserved a better fate on Sunday, as he was utterly lights out. He gave his team their second-straight quality start, holding Saskatoon scoreless while allowing only five hits through seven innings.

The Express had built a 4-0 lead to that point, thanks to a run in the fourth and three more in the fifth.

Julian Gonzalez took over from there and tossed a scoreless eighth, but then things got rough. Saskatoon scored three runs on two hits in the ninth to get within striking distance and then scored the tying run off Takeo Cookson to send things to extras.

Cookson got through the 10th unscathed, but Saskatoon would get their walk-off hit off Ty Thomson in the bottom of the 11th to secure the win.

Carter Kopp picked up the win for Saskatoon, tossing 4 ? of scoreless relief — including shutting down the Express in both extra innings — while allowing only two hits and striking out five.

Austin Gurney was 2-for-5 with a run scored and two RBI to lead the Express offence, while Bobby Pokorney was 2-for-3 with an RBI. 

Dominic Archila topped Saskatoon’s offence with a 3-for-4 outing that included a pair of doubles and two RBI.

The Miller Express are back in action Tuesday in Weyburn and Wednesday in Swift Current before hosting Regina on Thursday. Game time is 7 p.m. at Ross Wells Park.