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Birds Win 12-Inning Thriller For Fourth Straight Victory
PHOTO: Erin Bormett / Sioux Falls Canaries
A 12th-inning single from Kevin Taylor and an outstanding overall pitching performance drove the Sioux Falls Canaries to a dramatic 2-1 road win over the Gary SouthShore RailCats on Friday night.
The win is the Birds' fourth in a row after a three-game sweep of Texas Monday through Wednesday.
All three runs in the game scored on RBI singles. The RailCats delivered the first blow in the fourth. Second baseman Andy DeJesus reached on a leadoff walk, and left fielder Josh Price, Jr. drove him in with a two-out base hit.
It was the only blemish during an otherwise spectacular outing from Canaries starter Keaton Steele. Pitching against his former team, the right-hander allowed one run on just three hits in seven innings of work. He walked one and struck out nine, a season high for a Canary starter.
Gary SouthShore starter Eric Morell also had a strong outing, throwing five shutout innings with just two hits and two walks allowed. He struck out four, leaving the mound with a 1-0 lead.
The Birds equalized in the seventh. Andrew Ely was hit with a pitch to lead off the inning. That brought up Graham Low, who singled for his first professional hit. After a fielder's choice on a misplayed bunt attempt, Brett Vertigan singled Low home with the tying run.
From there, the Birds struggled to push across another run. They'd leave a runner in scoring position in each of the seventh, ninth, and tenth innings.
The Birds' bullpen kept Sioux Falls in it in the later stages of the game. Reilly Hovis threw two perfect innings in relief of Steele. Ryan Flores tossed a scoreless tenth, working around a leadoff walk.
Luis Pollorena would earn the win for the Canaries, throwing scoreless 11th and 12th innings, allowing just one hit. On the whole, Canaries pitchers struck out 15 RailCat hitters, allowing just two total walks.
Adrian Nieto started the Birds rally in the 12th, beating out an infield single and stealing second. Taylor knocked his single to center field to bring in the eventual winning run.
Both teams have a quick turnaround for Saturday's second game of the series at the U.S. Steel Yard. Lefty Spencer Herrmann is set to start for the Canaries; the RailCats will send out left-hander Lars Liguori. Birds fans can tune in to the game on Sioux Falls Sports Radio 98.1 FM and AM 1230 KWSN and online at KWSN.com.