Canaries Rally Late To Win Game One on Friday Evening
By: Jerrett Mills
GARY, INDIANA— The Sioux Falls Canaries (21-26) showed the true definition of resilience on Friday evening. Backed by a phenomenal performance on the mound by Canaries starter Stephen Bougher (2-1, 4.58 ERA) the Birds’ lost the lead in the bottom of the ninth only to come back and defeat the RailCats (21-25) by a final of 7-6 at the U.S. Steel Yard.
The Birds’ jumped on the RailCats in the top of the third when Jerome Pena was issued his team leading, 23rd walk of the season. David Bergin was due up next as he hit a double that allowed Pena to score.
The RailCats did pick up a run in the bottom of the fourth, on an error by catcher Richard Stock. Sioux Falls was able to answer as they put up three runs in the top of the fifth from Jerome Pena and Brian Humphries, as they both picked up RBI singles. Richard Stock also scored on a wild pitch shortly after Humphries single.
The RailCats made a late push in the eighth inning when they tallied three runs off of Canaries relief pitcher Mike Watt. Jon Jones doubled to score Adam Taylor and Ryan Brockett. Michael Vaughn also doubled immediately following Jones to pick up another run.
In the bottom of the eleventh, the extra-inning tiebreaker rule went into effect. The rule states that in the beginning of the eleventh inning, the player in the batting order immediately preceding that inning’s leadoff hitter will be placed on second base. The inning will otherwise proceed as usual, with each team getting a turn at bat (American Association, 2015). RJ Perucki was put on second base and Jake Luce was walked, putting a runner in scoring position for Chris Grayson. Grayson tripled to deep center field that allowed both runners to score.
The RailCats didn’t go down without a fight in the bottom of the eleventh when J.D. Pulfer hit an RBI double that scored Ryan Brockett off of closer Chase Johnson. With the game tied at six apiece, Vickash Ramjit hit a shallow single into center field, scoring David Bergin from third base.
Sioux Falls newcomer Will Rankin came onto relief in the bottom of the twelfth inning. Rankin struck out two RailCat batters, securing the first extra-inning game for the Canaries of the 2015 season. Johnson (3-0, 2.21 ERA) picked up his third win in a Birds’ uniform.
Gary SouthShore starter Fernando Gonzalez (0-0, 2.25 ERA) pitched four innings while giving up four hits and one earned run as he recorded the no-decision in his first professional baseball game. In all, Sioux Falls tallied seven runs on fourteen hits. Brian Humphries paced the Canaries offense, going 5-for-6 with an RBI. Pena had a great night at the plate as well, going 3-for-3 with a triple. Grayson and Bergin also picked up two hits in the contest.
The Canaries will send RHP Jeremy Strawn (2-5, 4.89 ERA) to the mound on Saturday evening in search of his third win in a Canaries uniform. First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 PM from the U.S. Steel Yard in Gary, Indiana. Fans can catch all the action on AM 1230 and FM 98.1 Sioux Falls Sports Radio KWSN as the “Voice of the Canaries” JJ Hartigan will bring you live play-by-play beginning at 5:45 PM.
Get your tickets to any Canaries home game this season by contacting the Canaries Ticket Office at (605) 336-6060 or visit www.sfcanaries.com. No matter your schedule, the Canaries have a ticket package for you. Ask a Canaries representative about the weekender, perch packs or E-Z Game Tickets.