Birds Blow Late Lead In 6-4 Loss To Blasters On Sunday Night
BY: JJ HARTIGAN
SIOUX FALLS, SD—The Sioux Falls Canaries continued their Labor Day weekend series against the Joplin Blasters on Saturday night in front of 3,174 fans at Sioux Falls Stadium. Jason Repko and David Bergin each hit a solo home run, but the Birds’ bullpen allowed four unanswered runs over the final three innings in the Canaries 6-4 loss.
Repko gave the Birds a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning, hitting a one-out homerun over the wall in left-center. Bergin made it a 3-1 game in the bottom of the 5th inning, blasting his team-leading 15th homerun to the same spot in left-center. Chris Grayson extended the Canaries lead in the bottom of the 6th inning, making it a 4-2 ball game after doubling down the right-field line moving Brett Balkan from first to third before scoring on a throwing error by right-fielder Steve Tinoco.
Bergin finished the night 3-for-5 with two RBI’s and a run scored. Repko also put together a multi-hit night, going 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored.
Canaries starting pitcher Joe Bircher (4-4, 3.04 ERA) made his final start of the season, allowing two runs, one earned, on five hits over six innings. The left-hander left the game with a 4-2 lead, but was ultimately tagged with a no decision.
James Jones replaced Bircher in the top of the 7th inning, giving up two runs on two hits while walking a batter in his one inning of work. Garrett Granitz entered with the game tied 4-4 in the top of the 8th inning, but left after loading the bases without recording an out.
The Blasters took their first lead of the weekend after Maikol Gonzalez hit a sacrifice fly to center-field off of Benny Suarez to make it 5-4. The go-ahead run was charged to Granitz, who ultimately suffered the loss for the Birds. Suarez worked the final two innings in relief, allowing one unearned run on one hit over two innings.
Joplin’s starting pitcher, Josh Evans also picked up a no-decision after allowing two runs on seven hits over four innings. Victor Capellan (6-3, 3.33 ERA) picked up the win after recording four strikeouts over two shutout innings. Winston Abreau recorded three strikeouts in the bottom of the 9th inning for his 23rd save of the season.
The Sioux Falls Canaries wrap up the 2015 season With Fan Appreciation Day and Superhero day at the Birdcage! The First 1,000 fans will receive a team set of Canaries Baseball Cards sponsored by Rainbow Comics, Cards, and Collectibles. Be on the lookout for some of your favorite superheroes who will be on hand for pictures during the game.
It’s the last game of the season so don’t forget to stop by the Dakota Lettering Canaries Pro Shop for end of the season blowout specials, including ½ priced jerseys! It will also be our final Money Monday of the year at the concession stands, including discounted $2 bottled Coca-Cola products all game long! Best of all, tickets are just $5 each for the final game of the year!
Come celebrate the end of summer with one more fun afternoon at the Birdcage. Tickets for all games are available through the Canaries Box Office by calling 336-6060 or at the ballpark two hours prior to first pitch.