Strong Pitching Nets Birds Win Over Chicago
Photo courtesy Ry Tupper Photography
By Tyler Smith
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The Sioux Falls Canaries took down the Chicago Dogs by a score of 3-1 on Wednesday afternoon. The Birds were powered by a strong outing from the league leader in ERA, Cesilio Pimentel, and a clutch two-RBI double by Patrick Fiala.
Cesilio Pimentel took the mound for Sioux Falls (9-15), keeping the Chicago batters at bay for the majority of his 6.1 innings pitched. The Dogs (6-18) took the lead 1-0 thanks to a leadoff triple by Jonathan Moroney, who scored on a sacrifice fly. The triple was only one of two extra base hits given up by Pimentel. He allowed only one run on seven hits, striking out a pair.
In the fifth, the Sioux Falls bats came alive. The Canaries tagged the Dogs’ starter for three runs in the inning, two courtesy of a crucial double by Patrick Fiala. He knocked a ball out to right field, just out of the reach of Chicago’s right fielder. That hit coupled with a Blake Schmit fielder’s choice put Sioux Falls ahead 3-1.
The seventh inning of play posed some danger to the Sioux Falls lead. With runners at the corners and no outs, Pimentel induced a soft ground ball to Burt Reynolds at third. The Canaries’ third baseman fired a strike to Aaron Gretz at home to catch the runner attempting to score. Kyle Schepel came on in relief of Pimentel, striking out the next two batters to escape the inning with the Canaries’ lead still intact.
James Jones came on to close out the game in the ninth, allowing a couple baserunners, but never surrendering a hit. He earned his fifth save of the season to give Sioux Falls the 3-1 victory.
ODDS AND ENDS
Blake Schmit notched his third straight multi-hit game, batting .500 in his last three games … Cesilio Pimentel had his longest outing of the season (6.1 innings), earning his first win in the effort … Pimentel leads the league in ERA among qualified pitchers with his 0.88 mark over 20.1 innings (Min. 8 IP) … seven of nine Canaries batters reached base … Jabari Henry now has a hit in four of his last five games … Schmit is back atop the Canaries’ leaderboard in batting average, now hitting .320 on the year.
Sioux Falls and Chicago will face off Thursday night in the series finale. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. After three series between the clubs in the first month of play, Sioux Falls will await July 20 to faceoff with Chicago again. The Birds will continue their homestand, Winnipeg coming to town this weekend. Birds fans can get their tickets at the Sioux Falls Stadium box office or by calling 336-6060.
PITCHERS OF RECORD
W – Pimentel (1-0)
L – Wagner (0-3)
SV – Jones (5)
2nd – Chicago: Matt Dean sacrifice fly (Jonathan Moroney scores) 1-0 Chicago.
5th – Sioux Falls: Patrick Fiala doubles (Mike Hart and Burt Reynolds score) 2-1 Sioux Falls; Blake Schmit fielder’s choice (Patrick Fiala scores) 3-1 Sioux Falls.