Birds Clinch Finals Berth
By Adam Bertsch
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- The Sioux Falls Canaries clinched their first playoff berth since 2010 with a 11-9 victory over the Chicago Dogs on Sunday evening.
The Birds required a some help from their former roommates, the St. Paul Saints to clinch a playoff berth on their home field. The Saints did their job in defeating the Winnipeg Goldeyes. The Canaries delivered a huge come-from-behind victory over the Chicago Dogs to clinch their biggest win in a decade.
Jabari Henry went 2-for-4 with one of the biggest home runs in Canaries history in the victory.
Sioux Falls will face the Milwaukee Milkmen in a best-of-seven series to determine the American Association champion, starting on Saturday, September 12. Find the full schedule and more details here.
Chicago gained the early lead in the top of the first. Joey Terdoslavich started the scoring in a big way when he hammered a ball over the wall. It was a two-run shot to give the Dogs the early advantage, 2-0.
The Dogs added another run in the top of the second when the Birds traded two outs for a run on a ground ball off the bat of Ryan Lidge to bring the score to 3-0.
Chicago seemed to break the game open in the top of the third thanks to a three-run home run off the bat of Tyler Ladendorf to stretch the score to 6-0.
Momentum shifted in a big way in the bottom of the third when the Birds tied the game with six runs in the inning. Andrew Ely started the scoring with a two-run blast to cut the score to 6-2. With two outs Damek Tomscha hit a single. Alay Lago followed him with a double to put runners on second and third. Jabari Henry drew a walk to load the bases. Mike Hart drove in a run with an RBI single to make the score 6-3. Ryan Brett followed with a three-run triple to tie the game 6-6.
Both teams held that score until the top of the sixth when Michael Crouse hit an RBI single to give the Dogs the lead back 7-6.
The Birds responded in a big way in the bottom half. Four straight singles by Ely, Coulter, Tomscha and Lago gave the Birds their first lead of the game at 8-7. Henry crushed his three-run home run to the dead center field to extend the lead to 11-7.
The Dogs got a pair of runs back on a two run home run by Victor Roache to cut the score to 11-9 but it wasn't enough.
Ryan Fritze retired the side in the eighth to set things up for Keaton Steele in the ninth. Steele sat the Dogs down 1-2-3 to seal the Birds' biggest comeback victory of the season and clinch the finals berth.
The Sioux Falls Canaries travel to Chicago to face the Dogs for the final four game set of the regular season starting Tuesday September 8. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.