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this week in Canaries Baseball

Posted by Dakota Sports FM on June 17, 2013 at 7:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Saltdogs at Canaries

On Monday the Canaries opened a three game homes stand vs. the Lincoln Saltdogs. It was a classic pitchers duel with Ben Moore going nine strong innings. It was all for not as the game went into extra innings thanks to a passed ball in the top of the ninth that tied the game. The Canaries only run came on Steve Domecus homer I the seventh. The Saltdogs plated two in the top of tenth of off closer Alan DeRatt. That was all that was needed and Lincoln won the series opener 3-1.

The Tuesday night game pitted two pitchers making their first professional starts. Austin Brough was starting in place of Jordan Whatcott who left to be with his expecting wife. Brough’s last appearance saw him toss five innings of two hit, one run ball against Winninpeg in 12-1 loss. That was obviously mop-up duty but it was encouraging. Starting is different animal however and the Saltdogs scored two in the first, one in the second and six in the third off of Brough.

Lincoln eventually won 13-4. Nate Baumann was the Bird offense as he hit two homers late. Jake Taylor added an RBI and two hits. VanStratten was 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.

Lefty Adam Champion took the bump for an overcast noon game on Wednesday. He was solid as he held the Saltdogs to just one run through 6.2 innings while striking out four. Jake Taylor made his first start of the season behind the plate. He had two passed balls early but settled in nicely after that. He also contributed big with his bat. He cranked an opposite field homer in the eighth to solidify the win. He was 2-for-3 with two RBIs, two runs and stolen base. He also threw out a Lincoln base runner.

Lincoln starter Joe Bisenius was devastating as he routinely hit 93-94 MPH on he the gun. Nate Baumann and Nick VanStratten each struck out three times. Bisenius did not get much hustle out his defense. They officially only committed one error. However there was about three plays that ultimately helped the Canaries because of lack of miscommunication or sluggish jumps.

The birds avoided the sweep with 4-1 win. Alan DeRatt dispatched Lincoln in he ninth on 12 pitches and the defense turned a beautiful double play to end the game.

Canaries at Amarillo Sox

On Friday the Canaries started a big Texas road trip with three games at Amarillo, three games at Laredo and four games at El Paso.

The Friday night game started out harsh as Amarillo plated two in the first and four in the second. The Canaries attempted to claw back with a run in fifth and another in sixth but the Sox equaled that feat and they plated another in the seventh. The Canaries squeaked one more run by in the eight and trailed 3-9 going into the ninth. John Alonso led off the inning with a single. Then after two Canary strikeouts Kevin Dultz smashed a double to centerfield scoring Alonso. Following an Anthony Trajano walk, VanStratten hit a ground ball to short that was misplayed and VanStratten reached while Dultz scored. After a Taylor single and pitching substitution, JP Ramirez pushed a single to center scoring two and the Birds trailed by just two with two runners on. Jared Clark then flew out to deep left to end the game. Sox 9, Canaries 7.

Saturday saw Canary starter Mitch Clegg toss his best start of the season. He went six innings allowing just two earned on four hits. He saw his ERA fall from 7.41 to 6.26 and he also throw just 77 pitches compared to the 97 that he threw in five innings in his last start.

As has been the running theme this season the opponent scored first. The Sox plated one in first and one in the fourth both runs were charged to Clegg. The Birds counter with three in fifth on a pair on RBI singles by Taylor and Ramirez and a sac flay by Clark. Ramirez added another RBI single in the seventh. The Sox then got to the bullpen in the eighth. Matt Daly walked the first two batters of the inning. Following an in-field single the Sox plated one on a double play. A RBI single off Van Leur and an RBI double off Kirk Clark gave the Sox the lead for good. Sox 5, Canaries 4.

VanStratten was brilliant again as he went 3-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored. His .339 average is eighth best in the League. Ramirez and Taylor each had two hits. Clark and Pahuta were a combined 0-for-7 with seven strikeouts, a walk and a sac fly.

The Sunday night affair saw the Birds finally score first thanks to a VanStratten lead off single. Cory Morales followed with a single that scored VanStratten. Then all was quiet until the Sox scored two in the fifth and two more in the sixth off starter Ben Moore. He tossed six innings giving up four earned on eight hits while striking out five. VanStratten was at it again as he led off the six with a double he later scored on a Ramirez single. After that the Sox battered the Birds ‘pen once again and sweep the series with a 9-3 win.

The Canaries will stay in Texas for seven games in seven days. They start by taking on the Laredo Lemurs (18-12) Monday-Wednesday and finish with El Paso Diablos (7-22) Thursday-Sunday. The Canaries are now 12-18 on the season.  

Josh Johnson

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this week in Canaries Baseball

Posted by Dakota Sports FM on June 10, 2013 at 1:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Winnipeg at the Canaries

On Monday the Canaries opened a series with the defending American Association and division leading Winnipeg. The peaking Kyle Ruwe took the mound for Sioux Falls. He went the distance giving up five runs (all earned) on nine hits while walking three and strikeout none.

The Canary bats were somewhat successful with nine hits but the could push one run across the plate. The RBI took place in the third, when Jake Taylor singled home Nick Van Stratten. Nick had reached on a fielder’s choice, then he stole second and took third on a error by the catcher. Cory Morales and Van Stratten each had two hits. Left fielder and 3-hole hitter JP Ramirez failed to get a hit for just the fourth time this year. Final score Winnipeg 5, Sioux Falls 1.

On Tuesday the Birds battled hard. Jake Taylor, Jared Clark and Nate Baumann all collected two hits. Taylor and Clark along Pahuta all homered.

Starter Mitchell Clegg gutted his way through five innings giving up five runs (three earned). Kyle Vazquez tossed two innings of one hit ball. Matt Daly slashed through a perfect eight and closer DeRatt dispatched the Goldeneyes on 14 pitches in the ninth. Final score Winnipeg 5, Sioux Falls 6.

The Wednesday night game a run scoring frenzy with both team having an inning that saw them score at least three runs. The big blow by the Canaries was dealt in the third when DH Tim Pahuta hit the first Canary Grand Slam of the season. Pahuta who also homered on Tuesday added a solo shot later on. John Alonso hit a solo jack as well and Taylor, Ramirez and Kevin Dultz all had RBIs. Taylor had three hits total and stolen base. Morales chipped in with swipe of his own and pair of hits. Nate Baumann also had two hits both were doubles.

Starter Ben Moore gave up seven earned through 6.2 innings. The bullpen backed him up by finishing the game allowing just two hits the rest of the way. Closer DeRatt struckout the side in the ninth.

On Thursday the Goldeneyes exploded for eight runs in the first inning off Canary starter Jordan Whatcott. The Bird bats mustered a measly one run in the bottom of the first when JP Ramirez plated Nick Van Stratten with a RBI single. That was it though and the Birds ultimately fell 12-1. There were some positives in the blowout though, right fielder Nate Baumann collected two hits for the third straight game, giving hi a modest six game hitting streak. Reliever Austin Brough who has had some struggles early on tossed five solid innings allowing just one run.

Sioux Falls at Gary Southshore

On Friday the Canaries headed east to face the Railcats. Gary as a team had hit just one homer on season going into the series. Former Canary Cristain Guerrero who had the team’s only homer, homered again giving the Railcats a short lived 3-2 lead in the fifth. Then birds got hot by plating three in the sixth, one more in seventh and a pair in the ninth. Tim Pahuta hit his sixth homer in seven days and Nate Baumann hit his first homer in Sioux Falls uniform. Both also had doubles and four hit nights. Van Stratten, Taylor, Ramirez, Clark and Morales all had two hits en route to a 19 hit performance by our Birds.

Starter Adam Champion was a bit wild as he issued six walks but he gave up just two hits and his defense committed no errors. The Canaries won 8-3.

Saturday night saw Canaries score in six of the first seven innings, which gave them a comfortable 8-3 going into the ninth. Then Railcats scored three unearned runs off reliever Kirk Clark then closer Alan DeRatt was brought in to close it out. After giving two hits he did just that as Canaries won 8-6. Starter Kyle Ruwe continued his solid season by giving the Birds seven strong innings. He allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits.

Leadoff Nick Van Stratten was the callus to the victory. He went 3-for-4 with a double, a triple, a walk and three runs scored. Baumann and Taylor each contributed two RBIs. Pahuta and Taylor both collected two hits.

Sunday brought along another Canary win spearheaded leadoff maestro Nick Van Stratten. Nick went 3-for-4 with a homer, a stolen base and four RBIs in the 9-5 Canaries win. Jared Clark added a homer and a double. Cory Morales chipped in with a pair of runs batted in and two hits as well. Nate Baumann doubled to keep his nine game hitting streak alive.

Starter Mitch Clegg went five innings, giving up five earned. Van Leur, Vazquez and Daly combine to toss four scoreless innings to solidify the win.

The Canaries are now 11-13 and just two games out of first. They now return home to host the Lincoln Saltdogs for a three set at the Birdcage.


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this Week in Canaries Baseball.

Posted by Dakota Sports FM on June 2, 2013 at 9:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Canaries at Redhawks.

Jordan Whatcott toed the Fargo mound on Monday and he could not get out of the fifth. Whatcott threw 98 pitches (62 strikes) in 4.2 innings and he gave 10 hits and six earned runs. Reliever Austin Brough was given the mop and he gave two earned in 2.1 innings.

The Bird bats were basically foiled for the first six innings thanks to Redhawk starter Alex Caldera who gave just two hits and struck out a batter per inning. Steve Domecus who played right field and first base hit a 1-0 pitch for homer in the 7th and DH John Alonso smack another solo shot in the 9th. Augustana College product Nate Baumann record his first hit as a Canary. The final score Fargo 8 Sioux Falls 2.

The Tuesday matinee featured some early runs for both squads and six total stolen bases. Nick Van Stratten swiped his team leading fifth stolen base and Jake Taylor stole his second. They both also had two hits a piece. Van Stratten recorded an RBI and Taylor knocked in two. Alonso woke mightily with a 3-for-4 day at the plate, he also drove in a run. Catcher Kevin Dultz fired home another run.

Canary starter Adam Champion went five innings and gave up four runs (three earned) while striking our four. Reliever Kyle Vazquez gave up two earned in his one inning of work and the last one proved the game winner. DH Jose G. Garcia who had already given Fargo the lead with RBI single off of Vazquez, was on third when he decided to steal to home during a throw back to mound after his teammate had swung and missed on a pitch. Final score Fargo 6 Sioux Falls 5.

The Wednesday night game was rained out. That meant for the second Thursday in a row the Canaries would have to play a double header. The first game was one to forgot as the birds could only muster two hits in the seven inning affair. Kyle Ruwe pitched 5.2 innings and only gave up two earned while striking out four and walking three. Fargo made Ruwe pay after he walked the first batter of the sixth by eventually plating two runs. Final score Fargo 2 Sioux Falls 0.

The nightcap like last Thursday at the Birdcage was wild scoring feast. Each team scored twice in the first inning. The Canary runs were plated on a JP Ramirez RBI double and John Alonso sac fly. Our Birds then went on to score twice in the second, on a two-run double by Ramirez. Canary starter Mitchell Clegg only lasted two innings, he threw 57 pitches and allowed three earned. Kyle Vazquez come in and ate up 3.1 innings on 44 pitches, he too was also charged with three runs.

In the forth inning the Birds flexed their muscles by bashing two homers. Jared Clark hit his team leading fifth homer a three-run shot. Then after an Alonso walk, Tim Pahuta swatted a two-run bomb that gave the Birds a 9-3 lead. Fargo did give their fans a charge with four runs in sixth and one more in the seventh but that was all she wrote as Canary closer Alan DeRatt slammed the door for the save. Final score Fargo 8 Sioux Falls 9.

Wichita Wingnuts at the Canaries

Ben Moore started the Friday night series opener at the Birdcage. Moore threw 119 pitches (73 strikes) in 5.2 innings. He gave nine hits, four runs (three earned) and struck out seven, while walking just one.

The bird bats plated one run each in the first, fourth, fifth and sixth innings. They got RBIs from Van Stratten, Jared Clark, Ramirez and Alonso who provided a solo home run in the fifth. Cory Morales was 3-for-5 with a pair of stolen bases and a run scored.

The Wingnuts scattered four runs of their own and scored the deciding fifth run in the ninth off reliever Kirk Clark who surrendered a one out double and then after another out and wild pitch gave up an RBI single. Final score Wichita 5, Sioux Falls 4.

On Saturday the Canaries lost again thanks to seven RBIs from the bottom of the Wingnut order. Jordan Whatcott was wild through 5.1 innings. He walked four (three in fourth inning) and struck out three, while giving up five earned on seven hits.

Wichita counter with former Major Leaguer Jon Link who gave up three early runs in the second on Pahuta RBI single and Jake Taylor two run blast. Link calmed down and gave his team a chance to win. Jon Alonso did smack his second homer in as many nights off Link in the sixth. Pahuta added another RBI single in the eight but the Birds fell short. Wichita 7, Sioux Falls 5.

The Sunday Funday matinee was blessed by beautiful weather and the Bird bats felt loose and comfortable. Pahuta and Clark each sent two rockets out the Birdcage and Alonso homered for the third straight game.

Canary starter Adam Champion went 5.2 innings and gave six earned while striking out five and walking four. Reliever Matt Daly shined in 2.1 innings of relief with four punch-outs and he only allowed one hit. Alan DeRatt worked a nifty ninth in a non-save situation. Final score Wichita 6, Sioux Falls 11.

The Canaries (6-11) with host the division leading Winnipeg Goldeneyes (10-6) for a four game series starting Monday. Then its off to Gary for a three game set with Railcats.

Josh Johnson

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This Week in Canaries Baseball.

Posted by Dakota Sports FM on May 27, 2013 at 9:55 AM Comments comments (0)

The Saints at the Canaries

Canaries host Saints Tuesday at the Birdcage pitted the staff aces against each other. The Birds sent Ben Moore and his drastic sweeper pitch to soggy mound to face the Saints and Mark "bring your own Mustard" Hamburger.

The sloppy rainy night was highlighted by even sloppier defense especially for the Saints. Second Baseman/leadoff hitter Dan Kaczrowski capped his 0-for-4 night at the plate with two throwing errors. Saints first baseman Craig Brazell was also charged with an error. He was also involved in a couple plays that made me thinks he’d be batter served as a DH. First baseman are often hitters first and Brazell is no exception. Our Canaries made no errors!

The bird bats clubbed three homers all of Hamburger. After a defensive substitution that got Brazell out of the game, Jared Clark leadoff the bottom of third inning with a bang by send a ball deep into drizzly night and far over the left field wall. Then in the bottom of the fourth Nick Van Stratten worked a four-pitch walk and Cory Morales followed with slicing homer to the beer deck in right. JP Ramirez then step up and destroy a baseball so hard it probably rolled to Covell Lake. After the back-to-back homers the Canaries faithful though drenched was squawking in the isles.

That was basically all the insurance Mr. Moore needed as he struck out six over seven innings and that was with mud-clogged cleats. The victory was the 40th career win for Ben Moore making him the all-time American Association leader. Reliever Matt Daly surrendered a homer in the eighth but also recorded two strikeouts in his one inning or work. Closer Alan DeRatt walk one in ninth but needed just 12 pitches too dispense the Saints for his second save.

After a rainout on Wednesday the Saints and Canaries met for a doubleheader on Thursday. Game one started at 5pm and American Association rules require doubleheaders to be just seven innings. The Saints like they did on Tuesday struck first by plating two earned runs in the top of the first off Canary starter Jordan Whatcott. Whatcott a former Phillies prospect went six total giving up four earned and striking out seven. The birds plated just one run in bottom of the second on a Jake Taylor RBI double. After the Saints scored five unearned runs in the top of the seventh off Chris Green and Jack Van Leur, they led 9-1 and that would be the final score.

The nightcap was an extra inning run filled feast. Yet again the Saints drew first blood by scoring twice in the top of the third. Then in the bottom of the fourth John Alonso scored on a Tim Pahuta sacrifice fly. In the top of the sixth the Saints plated three runs, one on a sac fly and two more on a homer by Brandon Tripp. Canary starting pitcher Adam Champion who went 5.2 innings giving up four earned runs on just four hits, was replaced by lefty Van Leur during the sixth. Our Birds answered that with four runs of their own in the bottom of the sixth, thanks a pair of two run blasts by first baseman Jared Clark and catcher Steve Domecus. That nodded the scheduled seven innings affair at 5-5.

Then after a scoreless seventh extra innings would be needed. A wild eight saw both teams plated three runs apiece. Canary reliever Austin Brough allowed hits to the first batters he faced. After a foul ball putout, shortstop Adam Frost slashed a RBI single and catcher Dwight Childs followed with a two-run double. The birds answered yet again when Pahuta walked, Domecus singled and Jake Taylor also walked. Cal-State Fullerton product Anthony Trajano then slapped a three-run double. Unfortunately, the Saints plated two more in the ninth on a fielder’s choice and another RBI hit by Frost. Both runs were charged to Brough who throw 49 pitches (25 strikes) in two innings of relief. Saints Closer and Rochester Minnesota native Matt Meyer came in to shut the door. After recording two outs (one a strike out of slugger Jared Clark), he walked Pahuta. Domecus then gave the Bird fans a brief thrill when he smashed a ball to straight away center. It was ultimately caught and the Saints sweep the double header with 10-8 victory.

The Canaries at the Explorers.

The Birds flew south for a weekend romp with the X's in Sioux City. The first game was started by Kyle Ruwe and he once again did not disappoint. He went eight strong innings scattering 11 hits and allowing just two earned runs. Ruwe and his goatee also struck out seven. Canary center fielder and leadoff man Nick Van Stratten stroked his first homer of the season. Sioux Falls first baseman Jared Clark slugged his fourth round tripper. JP Ramirez, Cory Morales and rookie right fielder Anthony Trajano all added two hits and every one else had at least one hit for the Canaries. The final was 7-2 and Ruwe picked up win number two.

True rookie Trajano started his second straight game in right, through Friday in 10 plate appearances he had produced three hits, four RBIs and two walks. Nate Baumann and Chandler Laurent have also seen time in right they are a combined 0-for-18. Laurent who has struck nine times in 13 plate appearances does have two walks, a sacrifice and a stolen base. He also made the defensive play of the year by laying out to make a catch and start a double play on Tuesday.

On Saturday the Birds fell again. The X's nabbed an early 1-0 lead on sac fly in the bottom of the first. The Canaries counter with a Pahuta homer and Trajano RBI single in the top of the second. Then in the Van Stratten slashed a homer of his own that scored backup catcher Kevin Dultz. That was all the Birds could muster and Sioux City plated three in the fourth to tie it up. Canary starting pitcher Mitchell Clegg went five innings giving up four runs (three earned), while striking out four. The X's then took the lead in sixth off a wild pitch by reliever Kyle Vaquez. They added an insurance run in the eighth. X's closer Chris Bodishbaugh came in to record his fourth save on the season, all of which have come against the Canaries.

Sunday, it was Ben Moore's turn again and once again the opponent scored first. However, Moore being the man he is went the distance in route to a 7-2 Canary win. He struck out four, walked none, gave up just five hits and allowed just one earned run. Moore only threw 97 pitches (78 strikes).

Catcher Domecus starter in right and rook Trajano moved from right to third base to give Pahuta break. Pahuta who has playing a strong third base was the DH for the day and John Alonso was given the day off. Kevin Dultz made his second start behind the plate.

The Bird victory was highlighted by Nick Van Stratten who tripled, stole a base and drove in two. Morales also drove in two and was 3-for-5 at the dish. Pahuta and Domecus also had a RBI a piece. Dultz was 3-for-4 and Jared Clark was 2-for-4.

The Canaries are now 4-6 and four games behind division leading Winnipeg. They will now head north to Fargo to start a four game series with the 2-8 Redhawks.

Josh Johnson

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The Canaries drop three of four.

Posted by Dakota Sports FM on May 20, 2013 at 1:15 AM Comments comments (0)

The Canaries drop three of four.

Well the ole thorn in the side that is the Sioux City Explorers was driving deep into the hearts of the Canaries faithful this weekend. The X's took three of four games in the season opening series.

The first was in Sioux City and the X's won 5-3 thanks to a homer and three RBIs by DH Palmer Karr. X's closer Chris Bodishbaugh nailed things down in the ninth. Canary starter Ben Moore was tagged with the loss thanks three of the five runs he allowed being unearned.

The series then shifted to the "Bird Cage" for Friday's home opener. Sioux City starting pitcher Jason Jarvis put on an effort that will almost certainly garner some pitcher of week consideration. Jarvis went seven shutout innings and only one hit. Bodishbaugh worked a perfect a ninth. The Canaries only mustered three base runners the entire game.

On Saturday the Canary bats were again stifled early on. They finally broke through with homers by JP Ramirez and Jared Clark in a four run seventh, setting the stage for some ninth inning magic. It was all for not as the door was shut by Bodishbaugh once again.

In the Sunday matinee finale Canary catcher Steve Domecus (a product L.A. Dodgers system) and Cory Morales took care of business by homering to give Canaries a 3-1 win. Sioux Falls starter Kyle Ruwe worked 7.1 innings and only gave one earned run. Canary closer Alan DeRatt wiped the slate in the ninth on just 13 pitches.

The birds will stay at home to defend the cage against long time foe the St. Paul Saints. That series will run Tuesday through Thursday. The birds will then head 70 miles south to Sioux City to tangle with the X's Friday through Sunday.

Josh Johnson

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The Birds Are Back!

Posted by Dakota Sports FM on May 16, 2013 at 9:15 AM Comments comments (0)

What is our love affair with this little yellow birdy all about anyway. One legend I have heard is that miners use to send canaries down into caves and in search of coal. If the bird came back they knew it safe to mine. Whether that is true or not, I can’t say for certain. What is true is that the Canaries are back and the Bird Cage will be "Squawking" like mad come Friday.

The color and poetic skipper Steve Shirley is entering his seventh season as the helm and those of us in media could not be happier. Skip, in all his worldly wisdom gives the best interviews. Behind that boss Fu Manchu style moustache is an unselfish and true gentlemen who appreciates life. I could not even get him to say a bad word about Sioux City.

College teammates Mike Meyer and Tim Juday are back as well to coach the pitchers and hitters respectfully. Both are weather tested hard workers who squeeze the talent out of their players from head to toe.

It has been repeated time and time again, that "chicks dig the long ball." Well ladies I hope you are ready for a good time, because the Canaries brass stirred up a couple of baseball punishing beasts in Tim Pahuta and Jared Clark. Both have extensive histories of clearing fences while playing affiliated ball. So ladies you are welcome.

Sioux Falls baseball living legend Ben Moore is back to lead pitchers as the staff ace. Moore along with pitching coach Meyer should stabilize this staff and keep things calm throughout the rigors of the season. The other returning bird arms are Brandon native Jack Van Leur and the big and mighty Alan DeRatt. I am excited about Chris Green who pitched in division II last season and with the Gulf Coast Orioles in the rookie league. He is listed at six foot three and two hundred and twenty-five pounds and he can really bring it. Former Pheasant Kyle Ruwe and his massive goatee are also back to give the bullpen some extra character and craftiness.

Corey Morales and Jake Taylor are the only other players returning from last season. Morales will look to lockdown shortstop on an everyday basis and slap hit his way onto to base for the boppers. Morales has scored at least 60 runs in every season he has been given 400 plate appearances. Taylor produced 14 multi-hit games last season.

Former Royals prospect Nick Van Stratten has been tabbed to hit lead off. Nick profiles a prototypical lead off with minor league career OBP of .360. He should have success at level and hopefully score a lot of runs as the table setter.

It shall be another enjoyable season at the Bird Cage for all and don't forget to bring the whole family! The Canaries open up at Sioux City tonight, then we will see you at the home opener this Friday!

Josh Johnson

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