Canaries Top Explorers, 6-5, in Final Home Game of Season
Photo Credit: Chad Phillips Photography
Sioux Falls, SD – The Sioux Falls Canaries topped the Sioux City Explorers, 6-5, in their final home game of the season at Sioux Falls Stadium in front of a crowd of 3,014.
Dan Motl led off the bottom of the first inning for Sioux Falls and came around to score on Chris Jacobs’ RBI single to give the Birds a 1-0 lead.
On the mound for the Canaries, Joe Bircher struck out two in a 1-2-3 first inning and worked around a leadoff single in the second, but ran into some trouble in the third and fourth.
Sioux City scored two runs on four hits in the top of the third against Bircher and added two runs on three hits and an error in the top of the fourth to take a 4-1 lead.
And for the Explorers, Kramer Sneed left four runners on base for the Canaries over the first four innings, but Sioux Falls got on the comeback trail in the bottom of the fifth.
Mike Falsetti led off the fifth with a double and scored on Dan Motl’s league-leading ninth triple to cut Sioux City’s lead to 4-2. Motl scored on Burt Reynolds’ ground ball and the Canaries trailed by just one heading into the sixth.
Sneed came back out for the bottom of the sixth, but Trey Vavra quickly knocked him out of the ballgame, sending Snead’s 1-0 pitch over the left field wall, scoring Tyler Wolfe and giving the Canaries a 5-4 lead on his two-run blast.
And with the lead, Bircher found a second wind, facing the minimum over his final three innings, the fifth, sixth and seventh, fishing his final start of the season in-line for the win.
Bircher allowed four runs on eight hits, didn’t walk a batter and struck out a season-high eight batters over 7.0 innings pitched.
Jabari Henry gave the Birds an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh with a solo home run, his league-leading 26th of the season, extending the lead to 6-4.
The Explorers came right back and cut the lead back to one with a run off Dylan Thompson in the top of the eighth, but James Jones shut the door in the top of the ninth to give the Canaries a 6-5 victory.
Bircher picks up the win and Jones earns the save for the Canaries, who move to 44-54 on the season. Sneed takes the loss for the Explorers, who fall to 45-53 on the year.
The Sioux Falls Canaries continue their final series of the 2017 American Association season against the Sioux City Explorers on Sunday night at 6:05 PM in Sioux City. LHP Bo Hellquist (3-2, 4.25 ERA) will take the hill for the Birds against Sioux City’s RHP Keith Picht (2-3, 3.72 ERA)
Fan voting for the Canaries’ End of Season Awards is also OPEN and will run through the final out of the Canaries final regular season game on Sept. 4. Check out sfcanaries.com for more info on how to cast your vote!
For information on season tickets or corporate opportunities, contact the Canaries Ticket Office at (605) 336-6060 or visit sfcanaries.com for more information.