Zokan Curdles Milkmen Bats, Canaries Win 5-4
By Adam Bertsch
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The Sioux Falls Canaries used an early lead and a dominant performance by Jake Zokan to take the rubber game against the Milwaukee Milkmen 5-4 Thursday night.
Jake Zokan struck out nine Milkmen batters over his six strong innings to earn the victory. The Birds took an early lead in the first inning and thanks to a few insurance runs never gave way to the Milkmen.
Milwaukee earned the early lead in the top of the first after Brett Vertigan doubled to lead off the game. Zach Nehrir drove him in on his RBI single to give the visitors the 1-0 advantage.
Sioux Falls struck back and took the lead in the bottom of the first. Jabari Henry doubled with one out; Alay Lago walked to put runners on first and second. Damek Tomscha doubled to score Henry and put runners on second and third. Then Clint Coulter hit one past the diving Brett Vertigan in the left-center field gap and legged out a two-run triple making the score 3-1 Birds.
The Canaries scored one more in the bottom of the second. Grant Kay led off the inning with a triple and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Ryan Brett to extend the lead to 4-1.
Milwaukee cut into the deficit in the top of the fourth. Adam Walker doubled with one out. Two batters later David Washington swapped places with him with a double of his one to drive in Walker and make the score 4-2.
The Birds added a key insurance run in the bottom of the fifth. Brett led off with a double and scored two batters later on a Henry RBI single extending the lead to 5-2.
The Milkmen scored one run in the top of the sixth on a solo home run by Walker cutting the the deficit down to 5-3.
That score held until the ninth when Mason Davis led off with a single. Davis went first to third on a single by Christian Correa. Then Logan Trowbridge drove in Davis on an RBI groundout. Keaton Steele shut down the Milwaukee rally after that recording a fly-out and a strikeout to end the game give the Canaries the 5-4 victory.
The Chicago Dogs come to the Birdcage to face the Sioux Falls Canaries in the first game of the three game weekend series Friday July 31. Trevor Lawhorn will be inducted into the Canaries Hall of Fame on Friday night along with Lawhorn bobbleheads given out before the game. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.