By Randy Palmer

Moose Jaw drops 4-3 decision to Regina, rebound with 12-6 win over Weyburn, drop 13-12 extra-inning contest to Medicine Hat and fall 6-1 to Mavericks in series of recent outings

MOOSEJAWTODAY.COM — When you’re playing in a division with as much parity as the East Division has in the Western Canadian Baseball League this season, finding a way to win consistently can be a bit of a challenge.

That has once again been the case for the Moose Jaw Miller Express over their past four games.

The Express dropped a 4-3 decision to the Regina Red Sox at Ross Wells Park on Thursday before rebounding with a 12-6 win over the Weyburn Beavers on Friday, dropping a 13-12 decision to the Mavericks in Medicine Hat on Saturday and falling 6-1 to the Mavericks on Sunday.

Moose Jaw is now 10-10 on the season to sit 3 ½  games back of the Red Sox for first place in the East Division

Regina 4 Moose Jaw 3

The Miller Express haven’t found themselves in many low-scoring battles this season, but Thursday night was one of them — and it resulted in one of the quickest games in recent memory, with the teams wrapping things up in only two hours and 13 minutes.

In the end, the Express were able to rally from a 3-1 deficit with a pair of runs in the eighth, but Regina came right back with a single run in the ninth to secure the win.

Holden Hungerford was outstanding for 7 ? for the Red Sox, holding the Express to three runs on six hits and striking out 10. Moose Jaw got to him in the seventh, though with a home run from Garrett Dennis and doubles off the bats of Darren Hagen and Nate Mensik leading to a pair of runs coming home to tie the game.

Justin Carinci would double home Matthew Fox in the top of the ninth, though, and that would be enough for the Regina win.

Drew Sorrentino started for Moose Jaw and other than a two-run home run in first was solid, allowing three runs on five hits for four innings. Ethan Merk, Ty Thomson and Jacob Castaneda pitched four innings of scoreless relief before Takeo Cookson tossed the ninth.

Moose Jaw 12, Weyburn 6

Three runs in the first, another four in the second and three more in the fourth saw Moose Jaw stake themselves to a 10-0 lead, and they’d go on to the comfortable win.

The top of the order did all the damage, as lead-off hitter Thomas Soto was 4-for-5 with a double and three runs scored, two hitter Nathan Houston was 2-for-3 with a double, triple, two runs scored and four RBI, three hitter Austin Gurney was 2-for-6 with a run and three RBI and clean-up hitter Declan O’Hare 3-for-5 with home run and two runs scored.

Wyatt Tweet also got in the action with a three-run home run.

That offence was more than enough for Cameron Dunn, who allowed four runs on eight hits over six innings. Julian Gonzalez and Garrett Houston each had a scoreless inning of relief, Soto tossed the final inning and allowed two runs.

Medicine Hat 13, Moose Jaw 12

It was another one that got away for the Express, as the Mavericks overcame a 12-6 deficit with six runs in the bottom of the seventh and then scored in the 10th to take the win.

Mensik turned in a 3-for-5 outing that included a home run, three runs and three RBI, while Gurney also hit a round-tripper and was 3-for-6 with two runs and four RBI. Darren Hagan and Robert Estrada were also 3-for-6, with Hagan scoring three runs and knocking in one. Evan Deringer also got in on the offence with a solo home run and two runs scored.

Nick Thibodeau lead Medicine Hat’s offence, going 2-for-5 with two runs and four RBI.

Merk started and allowed six runs on nine hits over six innings, Jacob Quiles pitched the final 3 ? and allowed seven runs on four hits.

Medicine Hat 6, Moose Jaw 1

The Express haven’t been shut down often this season, but Sunday afternoon was one of those occasions.

A trio of Mavericks pitchers held Moose Jaw to only three hits, and despite drawing seven walks on the day, the lack of production at the plate was the difference.

Aidan Lenzen got the start for Medicine Hat and allowed a run on a single hit over five innings, striking out four and walking three. Evan Gant surrendered only two more hits over the next three innings and Jon Shields finished things off with a scoreless ninth.

O’Hare started for Moose Jaw and allowed five runs on seven hits over six innings; Castaneda gave up a run on two hits in the seventh and Houston tossed a scoreless eighth.

Joe Osborn scored the Express’ lone run in the second inning, with the only hits coming off the bats of Ethan Bear, Owen Robbins and Justin George.

Jordan Phillips went 4-for-4 and scored a pair of runs to pace the Mavs offence.

The Express now have Monday and Tuesday off before playing their next four games at home: Wednesday and Thursday against the Mavericks, Friday and Saturday against the Sylvan Lake Gulls. They close out their week on Sunday in Regina.

First pitch for each home game is 7:05 p.m. at Ross Wells Park.