One bad inning proved to be the difference in Game 3 of the Western Major Baseball League Eastern Conference semifinal between the Moose Jaw Miller Express and Swift Current 57s.
The Express surrendered six runs in the third inning and went on to drop a 8-6 decision, giving Swift Current a two-games-to-one lead in the best-of-five series. Game 4 was Friday night at Ross Wells with the score unavailable as of press time.
Veteran pitcher Bo Sheridan got the start on the mound for Moose Jaw and surrendered a lead-off home run to Thomas DeBanville on the second pitch of the game. He settled down from there and worked through the rest of the first and second without any further damage.
Then came the third, and the 57s’ bats came alive as they cranked out five hits and took advantage of an error to score their six runs. Sheridan left the game with two outs for reliever Tanner Emes, who ended up putting together an impressive performance out of the bullpen
“I was just trying to give the team a chance to come back,” Emes said. “I wanted to pick up Bo the best I could, just try and hold them and have a good game out on the mound.”
Emes did that and then some with 5.2 innings of relief that saw him surrender a single run on four hits while striking out five and walking five. He hoped to finish off the game, but with his pitch count in the 100s, Travis Edgar came in to get the final two outs in the ninth.
“I was starting to run on empty there at the end, I was trying to get through that last inning,” Emes said. “But we were able to save a couple of arms and that gives us the advantage the rest of the series when it comes to our bullpen.”
The Express didn’t anything but roll over at the plate as Emes shut down the opposition — a four-run fifth inning keyed by back-to-back home runs from Adam Cook and Grant Westmoreland got them back into the contest and they had baserunners on in three of the last four innings.
The round-tripper by Cook was his second in as many playoff games and also his second of the season.
“That’s what you have to do in the playoffs, just try to keep it simple and if you see a fastball, drive it,” Cook said. “I just try to do the same every day and take it like a regular season game, try not to make too much of it. I just want to stay calm and not try and do too much.”
Game 5 of the series is set for Saturday in Swift Current.