Sioux Falls, SD – Behind a 12-run seventh inning, the Sioux Falls Canaries topped the Salina Stockade, 15-1 in front of a crowd of 3,358 at Sioux Falls Stadium, to take game one of the three-game series.
Both teams started slowly at the plate, as Troy Mannebach and Grady Wood combined for five strikeouts and left six runners on base over the first three innings.
But the Birds’ bats came alive in the bottom of the fourth, as Ty Morrison led off with a solo home run to give the Canaries a 1-0 lead. Mike Falsetti followed with a double and Louis Mele, in his second professional at-bat, knocked him home on a two-run homer, giving the Canaries a 3-0 lead.
Jake Eaton relieved Mannebach with one out in the fourth and kept the Birds off the scoreboard till the seventh, pitching 2.2 scoreless innings. And the Stockade would cut the deficit to two on Kewby Meyer’s solo home run in the sixth.
But with a new pitcher in Skylar Hunter on the hill for Salina in the bottom of the seventh, the Birds piled it on.
Jabari Henry led off the seventh with a strikeout, but reached first on Cody Coffman’s dropped third strike. Burt Reynolds and Blake Schmit followed with back-to-back doubles, extending the Birds’ lead to 5-0.
Chris Jacobs’ walk and Morrison’s two-run double made it 7-0, before the Canaries loaded the bases on Falsetti’s walk and Dan Motl’s single. Brett Marr and Henry followed with RBI singles of their own extending the lead to 11-1, before Schmidt cleared the bases with a three-run blast, making it 14-1.
But the Birds’ didn’t stop there, as Morrison launched his second home run of the day to deep center with two outs in the inning, extending the Canaries lead to 15-1.
In total, the Canaries scored 12 runs on eight hits and three walks in the bottom of the seventh, facing three different Stockade relievers.
Morrison finished the night 3-for-5 with two home runs, three runs scored and 4 RBI, while Schmidt went 2-for-4 with a double, home run, two runs scored and 5 RBI.
For the Stockade, Mannebach takes the loss, his first, and Salina falls to 2-33 on the year.
Wood picks up the win for the Canaries, allowing one run on four hits over six innings pitched. Wood struck out four and walked just two en route to the victory. With the victory, the Canaries are now 15-18 on the year.
The Canaries will look to take the series on Saturday night when they send RHP Troy Marks (1-4, 6.19 ERA) to the hill against the Stockade.
Be sure to arrive early this Saturday as the first 500 kids 12-and-under will take home a life-sized Canaries baseball bat, compliments of Schoeneman’s! Gates open at 5:00 PM with first pitch scheduled for 6:05 PM.
For information on single game tickets, contact the Canaries Ticket office at (605) 336-6060 or visit sfcanaries.com for more information.