Five-Run Seventh Powers Birds to Road Win
KOKOMO, IND. - The Sioux Falls Canaries have made a habit of using big innings to win ballgames, and Tuesday afternoon was no exception The Birds (14-10) knocked off the Milwaukee Milkmen (11-15) 11-3 in the second game of their series in Kokomo, Indiana.
Birds center fielder Brett Vertigan drove in four in the win, part of a 4-for-5 day at the top of the Sioux Falls lineup. The Canaries scored five in the seventh inning to pull away.
The win evens up the series between the two teams heading into a rubber game Thursday afternoon.
The Birds took the lead in the second inning when Vertigan drove in two with a single off Milwaukee starter Zac Westcott.
The Milkmen responded in the bottom of the third. Cleanup hitter Adam Walker hit a two-run home run off Birds starter Spencer Herrmann. Walker's third homer of the series tied the game at 2.
Sioux Falls added a run in the fourth on a Vertigan sac fly, and made it 4-2 in the sixth on a Mike Hart RBI single. The Milkmen added a run in the bottom of the sixth to make it 4-3, but it would be all Birds from there.
The Canary seventh spanned ten hitters and three Milwaukee pitchers. Kevin Taylor, Andrew Ely, Hart and Vertigan each drove in runs with RBI singles. When the inning finished, the Birds were up 9-3.
Sioux Falls added two more in the eighth on an RBI double from Alay Lago and an RBI single from Clint Coulter. That gave the Birds an 11-3 lead.
Birds reliever Luis Pollorena earned the win, throwing three innings in relief of Herrmann. Pollorena allowed one unearned run on three hits, striking out three without allowing a walk.
Sam Bragg and Brian Heldman finished the game off for the Birds' bullpen. Bragg threw the seventh and Heldman threw the eighth and ninth.
Sioux Falls and Milwaukee have Wednesday off, and finish their series Thursday afternoon at 12 p.m. CT. Alex Boshers will start for the Birds; Kurt Heyer will pitch for Milwaukee. Birds fans can listen to the game on Sioux Falls Sports Radio 98.1 FM and AM 1230 KWSN and kwsn.com.
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