AMARILLO, TX - Snakebitten may not be a strong enough word for the Sioux Falls Canaries' (26-51) season. Their heartbreak continued in Amarillo Wednesday night with a 7-6 defeat in 10 innings against a Sox (25-49) team that scored five runs in their last at-bats to walkoff with a four game series sweep after falling behind 6-2 in the top half of the inning. The Canaries now travel north to Lincoln, Nebraska for the second half of their eight game road trip.
Kyle Ruwe gave the Canaries the gutsy performance they needed with an injury-plagued and overworked bullpen. "Rubber Arm" pitched into the 10th inning, allowing four runs on 10 hits while striking out 3 and walking two. He threw 137 pitches, but left empty-handed as Alan DeRatt blew his ninth save of the season, surrendering the tying and winning runs. DeRatt dropped to 2-6 with the loss.
Amarillo starter Matt Larkins was equally impressive. Larkins completed eight innings and held Sioux Falls to just two runs and struck out nine hitters without issuing a walk. Like Ruwe, Larkins did not factor in the decision. Ryan Rogers (1-0) picked up the win by recording the final two outs in the top of the 10th for the Sox.
Geraldo Valentin scored Amarillo's first two runs, first coming home on Travis Weaver's double in the 1st and Joe Weik's single in the 5th. Brandon Jones got the Canaries on board in the in the 3rd by singling home Sam Lind and the Canaries tied the game in the 7th on Chris Valencia's solo homer. Valencia finished with three hits for the Birds while Lind had two.
The wild 10th inning saw the Canaries take a 4-2 lead on Sam Lind's two-RBI triple with one out, scoring Valencia and Stephen Branca and that lead was extended to 6-2 on Matt Hitt's two-run homerun. The lead was short-lived as Amarillo started the bottom half of the inning with three hits off Kyle Ruwe and scored a run to trim it to 6-3. Alan DeRatt entered, but was unable to finish the job. Christian Figueroa scored on an error by the shortstop Branca to make it 6-4 and Valentin followed by singling home Kyle Bellows and Jason Martin to tie the game. Travis Weaver gave Amarillo the walkoff with a two-out liner off of a diving Steve Tinoco's glove that scored Jeff Farnham and Amarillo completed the 7-6 comeback.
First pitch Thursday night in Lincoln will be at 7:05 PM with All-Star Kyle Vazquez taking the ball for the Canaries. Pregame coverage starts at 6:45 on AM 1230 and FM 98.1 KWSN.
Courtesy: Sioux Falls Canaries Aaron Rosenberg