Jackals Crush Canaries in Series Finale
By Tony Cola
Sioux Falls, SD-- The New Jersey Jackals finished their interleague series against the Sioux Falls Canaries on a triumphant note Thursday, nailing the home team for nine straight runs on the way to a 9-1 victory at the Birdcage. Sioux Falls starting pitcher Ben Moore lasted only four innings against a brutal Jackal offense that used a pair of two-run home runs to cruise to the series win, while Canary first baseman A.J. Kirby-Jones was once again the lone highlight at the plate with a solo homer in the opening inning.
“We’re going to figure it out,” said manager Steve Shirley. “We have to.”
Kirby-Jones’ dinger in the first inning gave the Birds the first lead of the game 1-0 and kept the home club on top until the top of the third, when a single from Alonzo Harris evened things up at a run apiece. The Jackals grabbed the lead and the game’s momentum for good the very next inning with a three-run outburst on Moore, who finished the contest with four innings pitched and four earned runs permitted. A potential Canary rally was stifled in the bottom half of the inning when leftfielder Chris Duffy was called out in controversial call at the plate after a single from Chris Valencia.
Jackal designated hitter Jorge Cortes made it clear the team from the Garden State was taking this series in the top of the fifth, sailing a 2-2 pitch into the right field bleachers to lift his team to 6-1. Two straight bases-loaded walks the following inning gifted the Jackals an 8-1 lead, with a single from Jon Talley making it 9-1 in the top of the eighth.
Canaries pitching coach and spot reliever Mike Meyer tossed a solid seventh and eighth inning, allowing a lone run on Talley’s single despite several hits that barely made it out of the infield.
“He (Meyer) is good,” said Shirley. “There’s going to be some seeing hits and that’s going to happen no matter where you are. Mike goes out there to compete.”
Nonetheless, The Canaries produced no real threat in the final inning as the Jackals finished off the 9-1 win. Sioux Falls will now look to rebound with a weekend series against the Goldeyes after having lost eight of their last ten games.
The Birds will return to the Cage tomorrow night for their opening game against the Goldeyes at 7:05 pm. It will be the final Fireworks Friday of the season, presented by Sioux Falls Specialty Hospital, Orthopedic Institute and All-Star Fireworks. Walmart will also be sponsoring the game and fans will receive a free lower executive ticket with the donation of a backpack.