Canaries Struggle In Exhibition Loss
SIOUX FALLS, SD — Sioux Falls Canaries pitchers had difficulty finding the strike zone, while the offense sputtered in a 12-2 loss to the Wichita Wingnuts Saturday afternoon at the Birdcage in the Canaries’ final exhibition game.
Canaries pitchers issued eight walks, and hitters struck out 12 times and left 10 men on base as the Birds concluded their exhibition season with a 1-2 record. The regular season begins Thursday in Sioux City against the Sioux City Explorers.
Despite walking four batters, Canaries starter Jordan Whatcott held Wichita to one run on one hit with three strikeouts in four innings.
Wichita overcame a 2-1 deficit in the fifth inning when they scored three runs off Ben Moore, who suffered the loss in relief of Whatcott. Jared McDonald reached on an error to start the inning and advanced to second when Blake Bergeron walked. Stephen Yoo drove both men home with a double and then scored on an Abel Nieves sacrifice fly, making the score 4-2 Wichita.
The Wingnuts put the game away with five runs in their half of the seventh. Ryan Khoury, Abel Nieves, and David Amberson all reached base with two outs. Cole Armstrong followed with a bases-clearing double. McDonald added a two-run two-bagger to push the lead to 9-2.
The Wingnuts finished their scoring with three runs in the top of the ninth. Nieves and Amberson walked to start the inning. Cole Armstrong followed with an RBI single, and Colt Loehrs doubled to drive in another run. Bergeron drove in the final Wichita run with a sacrifice fly, making the final score 12-2.
Armstrong led all Wichita hitters with a 2-for-4 performance with two runs and four RBI.
Canaries batters were held to six hits. Rookie catcher Kevin Dultz hit an RBI-single in the second and scored a run in the fourth. J.P. Ramirez finished 2-for-5 with two singles.
Chris Smith notched the victory for Wichita in relief of starter Junior Guerra. Smith tossed three innings, allowing one run on three hits.
After Thursday’s regular-season opener, the Canaries return to Sioux Falls for their home opener against the Explorers at 7:05 p.m. on Friday at Sioux Falls Stadium.
Courtesy: Sioux Falls Canaries