Sioux Falls Canaries Snap Losing Streak In 5-4 Walk-Off Win
By Scott Lemon
It wasn’t the most conventional way to do it, but David Bergin earned a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the ninth and the Sioux Falls Canaries snapped a nine-game losing streak, beating the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks 5-4 on Tuesday night.
Sioux Falls starter Joe Bircher again looked strong on the mound. He pitched six very good innings, giving up two runs on only three hits, walking three, and striking out seven. However, his record continues to fail to show his success as he took the no-decision.
The Canaries struck first in the bottom of the third inning. Nolan Johnson walked to lead off the inning, and newcomer B.J. Guinn singled to put runners at first and second. Ethan Chapman then wore a pitch off his shoulder to load the bases, still with no outs. Darwin Perez hit a hot shot to second, but the grounder was muffed by second baseman Ryan Pineda to allow everyone to reach safely and Johnson to score easily from third. Jake Taylor reached on a bases-loaded walk, scoring Guinn from third, and putting the Birds up 2-0, still with none away. Chapman came in to score off a Bergin sacrifice fly, and Taylor also touched home on an Ozney Guillen single, as the Birds took a 4-0 lead heading into the fourth.
The Canaries took their 4-0 lead into the top of the fifth, when K.D. Kang led off with a walk. Dustin Greiger lined out to short for out number one, but Brian Humphries jumped on a 1-2 pitch left up in the zone and sent a towering two-run homer over the wall in right to cut the lead in half at 4-2.
The RedHawks continued their comeback in the eighth. Pineda led off the inning with a walk, then Keury De La Cruz roped a double to the gap in left, advancing Pineda to third. Kang drove in Pineda from third with a soft groundout to first to cut the lead to one.
Madison Boer (1-4, 6.61 ERA) came in for the save attempt in the top of the ninth. Ryan Wagner reached on a one-out single then came all the way around to score on a booming single by Kes Carter to tie the game at four.
The bottom of the ninth was unique, to say the least. Guinn reached on a walk to lead off the inning, then advanced to second on a Chapman groundout. Perez then hit a towering fly ball to right, but De La Cruz muffed the catch on the warning track, allowing Guinn to move up to third and Perez reach second. Taylor was intentionally walked to load the bases with one away, setting up the double play opportunity. Bergin’s patient eye was the key to victory tonight, as he watched a full count offering skip up to the plate, giving the Birds the 5-4 victory.
Interim Manager Shelby Ford, who was just hired on Tuesday afternoon after Chris Paterson was dismissed, is now 1-0 in his return to Sioux Falls, and looks to continue that success on Wednesday as the Birds and Hawks square off in game two, slated for 7:05 p.m. Wednesday night is another Wacky Wednesday and Pokemon GO night at the Birdcage! Fans will be able to purchase $5 tickets if they have Pokemon Go on their phone and will be let on to the field before the game to catch Pokemon in the outfield. There is already a Pokestop in the outfield at the Birdcage, “lures” will be dropped around the park all game long. Fans will also having the opportunity to take part in a “Poke-Baseball” scavenger hunt around the stadium throughout the night. Fans that collect the "Poke-Baseballs” will be eligible for special prizes. Winners will be announced randomly throughout the game. Contact the Canaries ticket office for information regarding single game or season ticket options by calling 605-336-6060 or visit the website at www.sfcanaries.com for more information.