Birds Score Five In Eighth To Seal Comeback Win In Cleburne

Posted: 6/28/2018

Fritze_pitching.jpgPhoto courtesy Ry Tupper Photography

The Sioux Falls Canaries got one of their biggest wins of the season on Thursday night in Cleburne, coming back to beat the Cleburne Railroaders 6-4 for a series-clinching victory.

The Birds scored five runs in the eighth inning to turn the tide. Dan Motl, Jordan Smith and Jabari Henry all drove in runs in the frame.

The Birds got out to an early lead in the first inning when Blake Schmit drove in Smith on a sacrifice fly. It was Schmit's fourth straight game with an RBI.

Cleburne responded with a two-run fourth, though it could have been more if it weren't for a strange play from the stands. With the bases loaded, Smith failed to catch a fly ball from Angel Rosa, sending the ball bouncing in the air off of The Depot's artificial turf surface.

The ball bounded into foul territory, where a young fan with a glove in the stands reached out and grabbed the live ball, making the play an automatic double.

Two runs scored, butJohn Menken, who was at first when the play began, was forced to retreat to third on a play where he otherwise would have scored. He was stranded on third when Alex Polston struck out to end the inning.

Cleburne added two more runs in the fifth on a home run by Trevor Sealey, making it 4-1 Railroaders.

Birds starter Miles Nordgren was pulled after six innings of work, allowing four runs (two earned) on six hits while walking one and striking out four.

The Canaries trailed 4-1 entering the eighth against Cleburne starter Patrick Mincey. David Bergin led off the inning with a walk, followed by a Jordan Dean single and a Maxx Garrett hit-by-pitch to load the bases.

Dan Motl hit the first pitch he saw to left field for a two-run single, cutting the lead to 4-3. A Mitch Glasser sacrifice bunt moved runners to second and third, and Jordan Smith drove them home with an automatic double off the left-field foul pole.

Ryan Fritze, Nicco Blank and James Jones pitched the last three innings for Sioux Falls. Jones loaded the bases in the ninth but did not allow a run, earning his eighth save.


The Canaries stay in Texas for their next series, heading to Grand Prairie to play the AirHogs. Kevin Folman will take the mound for the Birds against Tyler Matzek at 7pm. Birds fans can hear the game on Sioux Falls Sports Radio 98.1 FM and AM 1230 KWSN or online at