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Millers Pushed To Limit By Mavericks

08/02/2013 8:03 AM -

Marc Smith

August 1, 2013

The Moose Jaw Miller Express' season will be on the line as they come back to Ross Wells Park for Game 3 of their first round series with the Medicine Hat Mavericks.

Medicine Hat took Game 2 on Thursday night, 4-1, on their home field to go up 2-0 in the best-of-five series.

“Certainly we would have liked to come back with at least a split, but we know we've got a hole to dig ourselves out of and I think we're still in a good place, we've just got to work hard,” said head coach Michael Hunt after the close loss in Game 2.

The game was a pitchers duel for the most part with Moose Jaw taking the early lead and holding onto to it for most of the game.

Miles Hunter led the game off with a double and two batters late Michael Corso was able to drive him in for the early 1-0 lead.

Starting pitcher Marshall Dean went to work after that and held the Mavericks without a hit until the fourth inning. He was able to hold Medicine Hat off the board until the seventh inning, when Garrett Wiese singled home Bryan Arthur to tie the game at 1-1.

With 109 pitches, Paul McMahon replaced Dean heading in the eighth and that's when the game slipped away from the Millers. Joel Lutz was able to get a hold of one of McMahon's pitches and gave the Mavericks a 3-1 with one swing of the bat, hitting a two-run home run

CJ DeDeaux hit a sac-fly later in the inning to make it 4-1 going into the ninth. The Millers couldn't mount a rally as they went down in order to end the game.

“It was a really pitched ball game for seven innings,” said Hunt. “Paul just left a ball up to a good hitter and that ended up being the difference.

Dean went seven innings, giving up one run on four hits with three walks and three strikeouts in a no-decision. McMahon pitched one inning and gave up three runs on four hits to take the loss.

“We couldn't of ask for any more out of (Dean). We played solid defence behind him, got an early lead for him and we just couldn't push the other guys across,” said Hunt. “We know we're going to be in tough against a good pitching staff and we're doing everything we can, we've just got to go back to work (Friday).”

Medicine Hat starter Zack Winchester was equally as good as Dean. He had five hits against and one run over seven innings of work. He finished with three strikeouts and one walk. Les Northcutt picked up the win for one scoreless inning of work. Alex Mann pitched a perfect ninth for the save.

The series now shifts to Moose Jaw where the pressure will be on the home team to find a way to get back into the series against the league's top team. The Millers still have confidence in their game and know they were close.

“We've just got to keep putting quality swings on baseballs and things will work out the way that they're suppose to,” said Hunt. “We've got to keep doing things right and we'll break through.”

Dustin Caplette gets the start in Game 3 for Moose Jaw and will be looking to make sure it isn't the last start of his WMBL career. Caplette had a 3-3 record with a 3.76 ERA in eight starts during the regular season.

He'll be going against Medicine Hat starter Billy Martin, who was 4-0 with a league-best 1.14 ERA during the regular season. He had 31 strikeouts and only five walks.

The Millers and Mavericks hit the field at Ross Wells Park on Friday night at 7:05pm.