SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KWSN)– The Sioux Falls Canaries finished the 2013 campaign on a high note, beating the Amarillo Sox, 4-3, to capture the rubber game and season finale.
The Birds closed out the season with a 42-58 mark, 21-29 at home and 21-29 on the road.
The win in front of 3,365 fans at Sioux Falls Stadium also eliminated Amarillo from playoff contention, securing the South Division title for Grand Prairie.
Canaries all-star outfielder Nick Van Stratten went 4-for-4 with two doubles, bolstering his season average to .352. It leaves him open to a league batting title, pending the performance later today of Abel Nieves (.355) in Wichita. Van Stratten finished with 143 hits, tops in the league and second most in team history in one season.
After Amarillo tied the game at 3-3 in the top of the eighth on Kyle Nichols’ solo home run, Jake Taylor singled with one out in the bottom half and eventually scored the go-ahead run on Adam De La Garza’s throwing error.
Alan DeRatt threw a perfect ninth inning to record his 22nd save of the year, the fourth most ever in one season from a Canaries closer.
Trailing 2-0 in the first inning, Van Stratten led off the bottom half with a single, stole second base, went to third on an error and came home on Cory Morales’ double. Tim Pahuta later singled home Morales to tie the game.
The Canaries took a 3-2 lead on J.P. Ramirez’ solo home run in the fourth inning, his ninth of the year.
Adam Champion recovered from two-run first inning to throw a quality start. He allowed just two hits and walk after the troublesome first inning, but he did not factor in the decision. Despite giving up a game-tying home run, Daly (3-2) earned the victory with two innings of relief.
Eric Draxton (1-6) took the loss in relief.
The Canaries finished the season with a team record attendance of 161,131.They averagd 3,356 per opening, the second highest in team history.
Courtesy of Sioux Falls Canaries