Henry Drives In Six In Wild Birds Win Over Saints
ST. PAUL, MINN. -- Behind eight shutout innings from Jake Esch and a monster day from Jabari Henry, the Sioux Falls Canaries beat the St. Paul Saints 12-8 in the opener of their four-game series from CHS Field on Monday.
The Birds took a 12-0 lead after eight-and-a-half innings, scoring in every inning but the eighth. The Saints mounted a furious comeback in the ninth inning but came up four runs short.
Henry opened the scoring in the first with an RBI single. An RBI groundout by Jordan Smith in the second and an RBI double by Patrick Fiala in the third made it 3-0 Birds after three.
Henry struck again in the fourth, crushing a three-run home run to left field. Henry's 10th homer of the season made it 6-0 Birds.
Fiala hit a solo shot with one out in the fifth to give the Canaries a 7-0 lead. It was his seventh home run of the season.
In the sixth, it was Henry's turn again. The Birds' left fielder knocked a two-run double to give the Canaries a 9-0 lead. Henry finished with six RBIs on the night, the most by a Canary in one game this season.
David Bergin got in on the fun in the seventh, knocking a two-run homer to right field to make it 11-0 Birds.
At that point, Saints manager George Tsamis brought in Zach Walters, who started the game at second base, to pitch. He worked a scoreless eighth inning to start his outing, the only scoreless inning worked by a St. Paul pitcher in Monday's game.
Meanwhile, Canaries starter Jake Esch was pitching one of the best starts of the Birds' season. The right-hander, who started off this year with St. Paul, threw eight shutout innings. He allowed just five hits and one walk and struck out eight, the most strikeouts he's recorded in a Birds uniform.
Jordan Dean added an RBI single in the ninth to extend the Birds' lead to 12-0.
Dimitri Kourtis relieved Jake Esch in the ninth inning, and the rally started for St. Paul. Nathaniel Maggio broke up the shutout with a one-out single, and a single by Aaron Gretz loaded the bases.
A walk and two singles made it 12-4 Birds with the bases loaded and one out, prompting Canaries manager Mike Meyer to remove Kourtis from the game.
Righty Will LaMarche entered the game, and struck out Burt Reynolds on a 95 mph fastball for the second out. But the next batter, Jake Smith, hit a bases-clearing double to make it 12-7.
After a double from Walters made it 12-8, Mike Meyer brought in his closer. Kyle Schepel struck out Dante Bichette, Jr. to end the game.
The Canaries and Saints meet for game two of their series Tuesday at 7 p.m. Mark Seyler, who threw six shutout innings his last time out, gets the start for Sioux Falls. Righty Eddie Medina will get the nod for St. Paul. Birds fans can tune in on Sioux Falls Sports Radio 98.1 FM and AM 1230 KWSN or online on kwsn.com and the KWSN app.