YANKTON, S.D.(KWSN) - The Sioux Falls Canaries debuted several new and familiar faces while rallying to beat the Sioux City Explorers 5-3 in the first exhibition game of the season on Monday night.
Canaries pitching struck out nine Sioux City batters and a re-tooled lineup cracked nine hits front of 800 fans at Yankton's Riverside Park.
Leadoff hitter Nick Van Stratten broke a 1-1 tie with a run-scoring single in third inning to start a three-run rally for Sioux Falls. Cory Morales followed with an RBI groundout, and J.P. Ramirez singled home the final run.
Van Stratten went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI, while Ramirez went 2-for-3 along with a sacrifice fly and two RBI. Rookie newcomers Nate Baumann and Anthony Trajano each had a double. Rookie catcher Kevin Dultz chipped in a sacrifice fly in the eighth for an insurance run.
Veteran pitcher Ben Moore started for the Canaries, allowing one run on three hits. Kyle Vazquez tossed the fourth and fifth innings and allowed two runs, but he earned the victoy. Four more Canaries relievers -- Chris Green, Jack Van Leur, Kirk Clark and Alan DeRatt -- each pitched a scoreless inning to finish off the Explorers. DeRatt earned a save by striking out the side in the ninth inning.
Ryan Zimmerman suffered the loss for Sioux City, who got a home run from Wally Backman Jr. in the first inning.
The two clubs will rematch for an exhibition game at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 10, in Huron, S.D.
The Sioux Falls Canaries are members of the 13-team independent American Association. They begin their 21st season on Thursday, May 16, and their home opener is at 7:05 p.m. on Friday, May 17. Tickets and information on group outings are available by calling (605) 336-6060 or visiting www.sfcanaries.com.
Courtesy: Sioux Falls Canaries