HURON, SD -- It was a packed house in Huron for the 10th annual Huron Community Foundation charity game between the Sioux Falls Canaries and Sioux City Explorers, and the fans were treated to an impressive hitting display.

The game featured six home runs and 21 runs on 27 hits as both the Canaries’ and Explorers’ bats look ready for the regular season in an 11-10 Sioux Falls victory.

Carlos Mendez, Chris Valencia and Stephen Branca each homered for the Canaries who mounted a furious rally in the bottom of the 8th.  Trailing 8-5, the Canaries plated six runs on singles by Chris Valencia, Brandon Jones and Chris Duffy and a sacrifice fly from Stephen Branca.  The final run of the inning scored on an error at short and put the Canaries up 11-8 heading to the 9th.

While pitching seems to be lagging behind the hitting at this point in the preseason, the Canaries bullpen held tough down the stretch.  Erick Gonzalez and Kaohi Downing each threw a scoreless inning and Kirk Clark worked around two errors in the top of the 9th to earn the save and preserve an 11-10 victory.  Downing was the winning pitcher.

Valencia, who was just signed earlier in the week, reached base five times tonight with a homerun, two singles and two walks.

The Canaries return to Sioux Falls to take on the St. Paul Saints in two exhibition games Sunday and Monday at the Birdcage.  Sunday’s  game will start at 4:05 PM and is open to the public with free admission.  Monday’s contest will start at 11:05 AM and tickets are $5.  Season ticketholders are entitled to free admission to Monday’s game.

The Canaries and Explorers open the regular season Thursday with a 7:05 PM first pitch at Sioux Falls Stadium.


Sioux Falls Canaries

Courtesy:  Sioux Falls Canaries