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Photo Credit: The Northern Battery
Grand Prairie, TX – The Sioux Falls Canaries rallied late to top the Texas AirHogs, 9-6, in the weekend series opener at AirHog Stadium Friday night.
The Canaries struck first in the top of the first inning against T.J. Bozeman, stringing together three-straight singles to take lead.
Back-to-back singles and an AirHogs’ error, put Jabari Henry and Ty Morrison on second and third with Chris Jacobs at the plate. Jacobs singled to give the Birds a 1-0 lead and Burt Reynolds followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.
With his first inning single, Morrison extended his hitting streak to 13 games.
But the AirHogs struck for one in the bottom of the first against Troy Marks and two unearned runs in the bottom of the third to take a 3-2 lead.
Trey Vavra led off the fifth with a hit-by-pitch and Dan Motl followed with a walk in the top of the fifth inning before Brett Marr advanced both runners with a sacrifice bunt.
Henry and Morrison followed with RBI singles to give the Birds a 4-3 lead before Jacobs added two RBIs to his total with a two-run double, extending the Canaries lead to 6-3.
But once again, the AirHogs tied things up in the bottom of the fifth inning on three hits, a walk and a wild pitch, knocking Marks out of the game.
Marks allowed six runs on eight hits over 4.0 innings pitched, walking two and striking out five.
In the top of the sixth, five straight base runners reached for Sioux Falls, and the Birds took a 7-6 lead on Dan Motl’s RBI single.
James Jones relieved Marks in the fifth and worked a scoreless sixth, Nicco Blank worked a scoreless seventh and Blank and Dylan Thompson combined to pitch a scoreless eighth for the Birds bullpen.
The Birds added two insurance runs in the top of the ninth against Scott Firth, extending their lead to 9-6, and Jose Ortega bounced back from a rough outing against the RedHawks Thursday night to seal the Birds’ victory with his 11th save of the year.
Jones picks up the wins for the Birds, who move to 27-32 on the season, while the AirHogs fall to 25-34, with Austin Kubitza taking the loss for Texas.
The Birds continue their three-game set against the Texas AirHogs Saturday night at 7:05 PM at AirHogs Stadium. RHP Miles Nordgren (3-3, 5.08 ERA) will take the hill for the Birds facing AirHogs’ LHP Michael Freeman (3-2, 3.78 ERA). Fans can tune into all the Canaries action on Sioux Falls Sports Radio,1230-AM, 98.1-FM KWSN.
Following the All-Star Break, the Birds will return to The Birdcage for a four-game homestand, starting with a three-game set against the Lincoln Saltdogs. Be sure to save the date as well for the Birds’ three-game home stand against the Salina Stockade August 18-20, as Sunday’s matchup has been moved from a 12:05 PM to a 4:05 PM start.
For information on single-game tickets, contact the Canaries Ticket Office at (605) 336-6060 or visit sfcanaries.com for more information.