Offense Stalls In 2-1 Loss On Saturday Night

Posted: 8/15/2015



BY: J.J. Hartigan

SIOUX FALLS, SD- The Sioux Falls Canaries continued their three-game series against the Gary-Southshore RailCats on Saturday night, looking to even up the series after a tough loss on Friday night.  The Offensive struggles continued for the Birds, who dropped the Saturday night showdown by the final score of 2-1 in front of 2,912 fans at Sioux Falls Stadium.

Starting pitcher Joe Bircher made his second start since coming off the disabled list on August 8th.  The southpaw had a rocky first inning, walking lead-off batter JD Pulfer who later scored on a Jone Jones RBI single.  Bircher gave up three total hits in his first inning of work, including a Jose Sermo RBI double, driving in Jones for the second run of the night. 

Bircher (3-4, 3.77 ERA)settled down after the first inning, giving up just two more hits in his final three innings of work, but left after four innings due to a limited pitch count.  In all, the lefty allowed two runs on five hits while walking a batter and striking out three in the loss. 

The Canaries bullpen was lights out on Saturday night, holding the RailCats offense scoreless over the final five innings. Dennis Neal was the first arm out of the bullpen, allowing two hits in his two innings of Work.  Benny Suarez also looked good, holding the RailCats to just one hit in two innings, while Chase Johnson gave up one hit in one inning of work. 

The only Canaries run of the night came in the bottom of the second inning, with David Bergin hitting a lead-off home run (12) deep over the left-field wall to make it a one run game.  The Birds collected two more hits in the inning from RJ Peruck and Angel Chavez, but couldn’t bring home the potential tying run.  

The Canaries got a big night from outfielder Chris Grayson, who went 3-for-4 on the night with two doubles and a single.  Grayson also came up big on the defensive side, throwing out base runner JD Pulfter at the plate during the third inning. 

With the loss, the Birds have now dropped two straight, and the lost the series to the RailCats, but will look to avoid the sweep on Sunday afternoon with Shawn Blackwell (2-8, 4.04 ERA) taking the mound. 

The Canaries have announced that the start time for their series finale against the Gary-Southshore RailCats on Sunday, August 16th has been moved from 4:05 PM to 2:05 PM for Superhero Day presented by DataSync and Rainbow Comics, Cards and Collectibles. The first 2,000 fans through the gates will receive a free set of Canaries team baseball cards, compliments of Rainbow Comics, Cards and Collectibles! 

Thanks to Rainbow Comics, Cards and Collectibles, fans of all ages will have the opportunity to take pictures and interact with some of their favorite superheroes, including Captain America, Wonder Woman, Dr. Doom, Scarlet Witch, Iron Man, Batman and more! Members of the Central Garrison - 501st Legion will be there in Star Wars costume as well. Kids will get to run the bases, and meet the players and coaches to get their Rainbow 2015 Cards autographed after the game! 

Fans can catch all the action home and away on AM-1230, FM-98.1, Sioux Falls Sports Radio KWSN. Pre-game coverage will begin at 3:45 PM as the “Voice of the Canaries” JJ Hartigan will bring all the latest news related to Canaries baseball. 

Tickets for the final half of the season are still available and can be purchased through the Canaries Box Office at (605) 336-6060 or visit No matter your schedule, the Canaries have a ticket package for you. Ask a Canaries representative about partial plan or E-Z Game Tickets.