Birds Comeback Falls Short In Home Finale
PHOTO: RY TUPPER PHOTOGRAPHY
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- A packed house at the Birdcage for the Sioux Falls Canaries' home finale nearly saw the Birds complete a four-run comeback, but the Birds came up one hit shy of tying it in a 6-5 loss to the Gary SouthShore RailCats.
The Canaries scored three in the eighth inning to cut a 6-2 deficit to 6-5, but left the tying run on second in the bottom of the ninth.
The Birds jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on a first-inning two-run single by Patrick Fiala. It was the sixth time Sioux Falls has scored first in their last eight games.
Gary SouthShore responded immediately, plating three runs off Birds starter Jake Esch in the top of the second. The Canaries' defense stopped further damage, tagging Ronnie Mitchell out at home to end the inning.
RailCats third baseman Alex Crosby hit a three-run home run in the fourth, making it 6-2 Gary SouthShore.
Esch went six innings, allowing six runs on nine hits. He walked three and struck out three.
The score stayed that way into the eighth inning, when the Birds put together an unusual rally. Mike Hart was hit with a pitch to lead off the frame, and two RailCats errors led to a Birds run, making it 6-3.
After Patrick Fiala's walk loaded the bases with no one out, Adam Quintana came in to get the six-out save for the RailCats.
The first batter he faced, Jordan Dean, hit a two-run double to make it 6-5, but was tagged out between third and home for the first out of the inning.
With the tying run on third, Maxx Garrett and pinch-hitter Corey Vasquez struck out to end the threat.
The Birds rallied again in the ninth, starting with another Hart hit-by-pitch. A two-out broken-bat single by Jabari Henry put Patrick Fiala up with the tying run on second, but Fiala struck out to end the game.
The Birds hit the road for their last series of the year against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks. Saturday's series opener is scheduled for 7 p.m. Birds fans can tune in on Sioux Falls Sports Radio 98.1 FM and AM 1230 KWSN.