Canaries Finish Preseason With Decisive Win
The Sioux Falls Canaries took advantage of their last preseason tune-up on Tuesday night, outlasting the Black Sox 8-4 in their spring training finale at the Birdcage.
The win marked the final Canaries game before they start the 2018 season in Sioux Falls against the Chicago Dogs on Friday night. First pitch is set for 7 p.m.
The Birds started Tuesday's game off strong, jumping out to a 6-0 lead after four innings over the Black Sox, a traveling team not affiliated with an individual league.
Jabari Henry drove in the Birds' first three runs, starting with a two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning. Henry hitting one out is a sight fans at the Birdcage are used to after his club record-tying 29 home runs last season.
"He was just missing pitches in the [earlier] exhibition games. His last game he squared a ball up, and tonight he did what he does." Canaries manager Mike Meyer said. "We're excited to have him in the middle of the lineup and starting game one."
Henry kept his hot hitting going with an RBI double in the third inning to put the Birds up 3-0.
The Birds added two more runs in the frame, including a sacrifice fly from Chris Jacobs following Henry's double. An RBI groundout from Chris Grayson made the lead 5-0.
A groundout from Blake Schmit brought in the Birds' sixth run in the fourth inning.
Meyer pulled Birds starter Dylan Thompson after five strong innings of work. The 25-year-old right-hander didn't give up a run in his five frames, allowing four hits and no walks while striking out five.
"I thought tonight was much better than his first outing," Meyer said. "He was able to establish his fastball and get ahead of hitters, and when he does that he's pretty special."
After the Black Sox got one back in the top of sixth, the Canaries responded with two in the bottom half to take an 8-1 lead. The inning included an RBI double from leadoff hitter Ty Morrison, who joined Canaries camp midway through the spring training schedule.
"Ty does a lot of things for us. He's going to hit for some power, drive in some runs, he's going to score a lot of runs, he can steal bases." Meyer said. "But he also is a really solid left fielder, which is nice to have in our ballpark."
The Black Sox added three more runs in the late innings, but went down 1-2-3 in the ninth to end the game.
Now the Birds will rest up ahead of their clash with Chicago to start the season. Friday's Fireworks Night opener is expected to draw a big crowd, but seats are still available at sfcanaries.com.
Fans who can't make the game can tune in on Sioux Falls Sports Radio, 1230-AM & 98.1-FM KWSN, or listen online at KWSN.com. The Birds will also have a video live stream of the game on americanassociationbaseball.tv.