Canaries Shut Out in Wichita Finale
By Aaron Rosenberg
WICHITA, KS - Pitching dominated Wednesday night and unfortunately for the Canaries (20-33), one decisive play in the field went against them and Wichita (36-17) finished the series sweep with a 1-0 win. Following the overnight bus ride back to Sioux Falls, the Birds will use an off day to rest and then start a six-game homestand Friday night against Grand Prairie.
Kyle Vazquez (4-4) pitched brilliantly for the Canaries, allowing just one run in seven innings on five hits while striking out seven and walking two. The righthander as was helped by some early defense. Kevin Dultz threw out Taylor Oldham trying to steal in the 2nd inning and Chris Valencia made a running catch on the warning track to end the 4th inning and keep runs off the board.
The lone run of the night came in the bottom of the 7th. With Brent Clevlen at third base and two outs, Trevor Whyte hit a groundball up the middle that could have ended the inning, but miscommunication between Stephen Branca and Sam Lind slowed the play down enough to allow Whyte to beat the throw out and score Clevlen on an infield single. Vazquez finished the inning by striking out the side but the damage had been done.
Equally impressive was Jason Van Skike (6-2), who earned his sixth win of the season with seven shutout innings of two-hit ball. Van Skikie stuck out four and did not walk a batter. He continually kept the Canaries hitters off balance with a mix of pitches and turned the ball over to the bullpen who preserved the win. Alex Hinshaw worked a scoreless 8th and Matt Nevarez locked down the 9th for his 15th save.
The Canaries will host Grand Prairie Friday night at the Birdcage and the game will be sponsored by City of Sioux Falls Leading Green. The first 100 fans in the gate will receive a reusable water bottle. All-Star Fireworks will present a postgame fireworks show and fans can stick around late into the night for a free concert from Endangered Orange in the party deck. Tickets are available at the box office, by calling 336-6060 or via TicketMaster.