Wichita Defeats the Canaries on a Walk-Off Homerun
By: Jerrett Mills
WICHITA, Kan. – It was a nail-biter on Monday evening as T.J. Mittelstaedt hit a walk-off homerun for the Wingnuts in the bottom of the tenth inning. The Canaries put three runs on the scoreboard early, but it wasn’t enough as the Wichita Wingnuts (33-23) defeated the Sioux Falls Canaries (23-33) by a final of 5-3 at Lawrence Dumont Stadium.
Sioux Falls put the first run on the scoreboard in the top of first thanks to a leadoff triple by Chris Grayson. Jerome Pena stepped up to the plate, hitting an RBI single to left field to put the Birds’ up early.
In the top of the fourth, the Canaries picked up a two-out double from catcher Tyler Shover. Sioux Falls newcomer Michael Broad hammered an RBI triple into center field, his first in a Birds’ uniform. Former Wingnut Jake Luce was due up next and singled in Broad for the final run of the inning.
Wichita didn’t go down without a fight as they picked a run in the bottom of the fifth and sixth innings. Former Canary Harrison Kain hit into a fielder’s choice that allowed John Nester to score, plating the first run for the Wingnuts. The Wingnuts picked up their final run when Joash Broadin hit into a double play, allowing Starlin Rodriguez to score from third.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Canaries called upon closer Chase Johnson to shut the door on the Wingnuts. Wichita had other plans as they plated the tying run from a Luis Hernandez groundout. Heading into extra innings, the Birds’ only picked up a single from David Bergin in the top of the tenth.
Sioux Falls made a call to the bullpen in the bottom of the tenth as Will Rankin came into relieve Chase Johnson. Three batters later, T.J. Mittelstaedt hit towering two-run homerun over the left field wall to secure the win for Wichita.
Sioux Falls starter Miguel Pena (5-5, 2.49 ERA) pitched well for the Birds’, but recorded the no decision as he threw seven innings, giving up two earned runs on seven hits. Eight Canaries batters recorded at least a hit in the contest. Starting catcher Tyler Shover paced the Canaries offense, going 2-for-4 with a run.
The Canaries continue action on Tuesday night as they go for win number two of a four game series. First pitch is slated for 7:05 PM at Lawrence Dumont Stadium in Wichita, Kansas. Sioux Falls will send Stephen Bougher (2-1, 4.57 ERA) to the mound in search of his third win in a Canaries uniform.
Fans can catch all the action home and away on AM 1230 and FM 98.1 Sioux Falls Sports Network KWSN. Pre-game coverage will begin at 6:45 PM as the “Voice of the Canaries” JJ Hartigan will bring all the latest news related to Canaries baseball.
Get your tickets to any Canaries home game this season by contacting the Canaries Ticket Office at (605) 336-6060 or visit www.sfcanaries.com. No matter your schedule, the Canaries have a ticket package for you. Ask a Canaries representative about the weekender, perch packs or E-Z Game Tickets.