Coulter Homers Can’t Thwart Double-Header Sweep
The Explorers were too hot for the Sioux Falls Canaries to handle on a scorching day in Sioux City Friday. The X’s swept the Birds in a series-opening doubleheader.
Sioux City (30-29) beat the Canaries (28-31) 13-9 in the first game of the twin bill, a game that began on June 23 before being suspended in the second due to rain. The second game was tighter; the Explorers pulled out a 6-5 seven-inning win.
Canaries right fielder Clint Coulter hit a home run in each game of the doubleheader. He now has 10 homers on the year, best on the Canaries.
X’S STRIKE EARLY IN GAME ONE
Sioux City inherited a tough situation in the first game. The Birds were ahead 3-0 in the top of the second with the bases loaded and two out at the time of the suspension. A great diving catch by Michael Lang in right robbed Kevin Taylor of a hit to end the top of the second.
After that, Sioux City took control. The Explorers scored two runs in the bottom of the second, including an RBI double from Sebastian Zawada. They exploded for eight runs in the third, taking a 10-3 lead. Drew Stankiewicz and Kyle Wren both hit two-run homers in the inning.
Sioux Falls chipped away at the Sioux City lead, scoring two runs in each of the seventh, eighth and ninth innings. But they failed to bring the tying run to the plate.
SASSER’S HOMER THE DIFFERENCE IN GAME TWO
The seven-inning game two also started well for the Birds. A first-inning RBI double from Alay Lago gave the Canaries a 1-0 lead.
Sioux City tied the game in the bottom of the first. Kyle Wren led the inning off with a triple, and scored on a double-play grounder off the bat of Nate Samson.
The Birds retook the lead as soon as they could. Josh Rehwaldt delivered a triple of his own with one out, and Graham Low knocked an RBI single to make it 2-1. Low later scored on an Andrew Ely groundout to give the Birds a 3-1 cushion.
Sioux city cut the lead in half when Dexture McCall scored on a Luke Wilkins wild pitch, but the 3-2 lead held until the bottom of the fourth.
That was when Adam Sasser hit a three-run homer, his first of the year, to make it 5-3 Sioux City. An RBI triple from Wren made it 6-3.
Coulter’s second homer of the day, a two-run shot in the fifth, brought the game to its final score.
Sioux Falls and Sioux City meet for game three of their series Saturday at 6:05 p.m. Birds ace Taylor Hill will take the mound.
By Brent Bartels
PHOTO: Erin Bormett / Sioux Falls Canaries