SIOUX CITY, IA - The Canaries string of consecutive series wins ended at three Sunday night as they fell 3-2 to the Sioux City Explorers in walkoff fashion. After dropping the rubber match, the Birds will head to Gary, Indiana to take on the RailCats in a four-game set before returning home to the Birdcage Friday night to open a homestand against the St. Paul Saints.
The Canaries got on the board first when AJ Kirby-Jones doubled home Shelby Ford, who reached on an error with two outs. Canaries starter Matt Wickswat held the Explorers off the board for the first five frames and was sharp throughout the game.
The 1-0 lead held until the 6th, when Wickswat hit his only rough patch of the night. Tim Colwell led off with a single for the Explorers and Oscar Mesa reached base on a fielder's choice.
Colwell should have been retired at second, but a throwing error from Stephen Branca allowed him to safely advance to third base. Andres Perez's ensuing groundball to Shelby Ford at second put an out on the board due to runner interference, but the out proved to be costly for the Canaries. Ford had to leave the game after the collision with Mesa and it is undetermined how long he may be out. Sam Lind came in to play second base and took over Ford's spot in the lineup. Rene Tosoni tied the game with an RBI single and Nate Samson gave the Explorers a 2-1 lead with his follow-up sacrifice fly.
Wickswat pitched into the 7th, but exited with two outs, finishing his day having allowed two runs, one earned, in 6.2 innings on four hits, three strikeouts and two walks. Kye Winter recorded the final out in the 7th and pitched a scoreless 8th. Sam Lind tied the game at 2 in the 8th with a solo homerun in his only plate appearance, taking Wickswat off the hook for the loss.
John Brebbia came in to throw the bottom of the 9th for the Canaries. After striking out Tom Mendonca to start the inning, Brebbia allowed a one-out single to Amos Ramon who then stole second base. Ramon was ruled safe to the chagrin of Canaries manager Steve Shirley who felt that shortstop Branca had applied a timely tag. Shirley was ejected and Dillon Usiak immediately followed with an RBI single to score Ramon and send the Explorers to a walkoff 3-2 win.
Monday's game will start at 7:05 PM and the pregame show will start at 6:45 on AM 1230 and FM 98.1 KWSN. Fans can also stream via KWSN.com.
- Aaron Rosenberg