It isn’t often that you see someone outduel St. Paul Saints ace Mark Hamburger, but that is exactly what Sioux Falls Canaries starter Mile Nordgren did on this night. The right-hander dominated this game, allowing a hit in the first and third, and then setting down all but one of the last 22 batters he faced as the Canaries won 7-0. Burt Reynolds had a grand slam to pace the offense, and Patrick Fiala added his fourth homer of the year.
Following a scoreless first, the Sioux Falls Canaries were able to take a commanding lead in the second. Brandon Jacobs singled into left field to start the inning. Two batters later, Patrick Fiala lined a double down the line in left that moved Jacobs into third. Aaron Gretz worked the count full, fouling off two pitches to stay alive, before drawing a walk. Hamburger struck out Blake Schmit, but walked Dan Motl on a 3-2 pitch to drive home a run to give the Canaries the 1-0 lead. Ty Morrison was then hit by a pitch to drive home another run. That brought Burt Reynolds to the plate, who crushed a 1-1 offering over the wall in left-center for a grand slam. His 11th homer of the year made it 6-0.
It would stay that way until the fifth when Sioux Falls extended their lead to seven. With one down, Fiala hit his fourth homer of the year to make it 7-0.
That was way more than enough support for Miles (5-5) Nordgren on this night. The right-hander went the distance for his second complete game of the year and his first shutout. He gave up a leadoff single to Tim Colwell in the first and leadoff hit in the third to Maxx Garrett. He then set down 21 of the next 22 batters he faced, walking 2 in the game while striking out 3.
Burt Reynolds had the big hit in the contest, going 1-4 with a run and 4-RBI. Patrick Fiala was 2-4, scored 2-runs and had an RBI.
Game 2 of this four-game series is set for tomorrow evening. Joe Bircher (4-5, 4.37) will go for Sioux Falls. St. Paul has not named their starter. First pitch is 7:05.
By Robert Pannier