Lago Shines as Canaries Top Saints
By Adam Bertsch
SIOUX FALLS, S.D.
The Sioux Falls Canaries took a back and forth game one over the St. Paul Saints 5-3 to improve to 2-2 on the young season.
Things were a little strange with the Canaries batting to start the game at the Birdcage on Tuesday night, but the Canaries didn't seem to be fazed as they jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first.
Andrew Ely lead off the game with a first pitch single and was later driven in by Damek Tomscha to give the Birds the early 1-0 lead.
The Saints threatened in the bottom of the first and second, but fell scoreless until the bottom of the third when Max Murphy and Justin Byrd lead off with back-to-back singles. Murphy later scored on an RBI fielder's choice off the bat of Chris Chinea to even the score 1-1.
St. Paul then took the lead in the bottom of the fifth after a leadoff walk and stolen base by Justin Byrd. He scored on an RBI single by Josh Allen to make the score 2-1 Saints.
Almost immediately after in the top of the sixth Alay Lago knocked a leadoff double. He moved over to third on a Tomscha groundout. Clint Coulter then hit a double of his own to drive in Lago and tie the game 2-2. Coulter came in to score the go-ahead run on a Logan Landon RBI single to give the Birds the lead back 3-2.
Sioux Falls added two big insurance runs in the top of the eighth to stretch the lead to 5-2.
The Saints got one back in the bottom of the eighth to cut the deficit to 5-3.
Keaton Steele secured the win in the bottom of the ninth to earn the save and take game one of the series 5-3.
Alay Lago went 4-5 at the plate with three singles and a double. Sam Bragg earned the win in his first start of the season. Ryan Zimmerman took the loss for St. Paul.
The Saints host the Canaries in game two of the three game series on Wednesday, July 8. It is Daycare and Business Day at the Birdcage with first pitched scheduled for 12:05 pm. Ty Culbreth will get the start for the Sioux Falls and Matt Quintana will take the ball for St. Paul.