SIOUX FALLS – The Winnipeg Goldeyes piled up eight runs in the first inning Thursday night and went on to beat the Sioux Falls Canaries 12-1 to split a four-game series at Sioux Falls Stadium.
The Canaries (8-13) fell back to 4 ½ games behind the first-place Goldeyes (12-8), and they won three contests in the seven-game homestand.
Canaries starter Jordan Whatcott (0-5) allowed back-to-back singles to begin the game, and that opened the door to a seven-hit, eight-run rally that brought 12 men to the plate. Casey Haerther started the scoring with a two-run single, and it was capped by Ryan Scoma's three-run double. Both Fehlandt Lentini and Scoma had two hits in the first inning. Lentini finished the game 3-for-5 with a home run and three runs scored. Scoma went 3-for-5 with a double and three RBI. Haerther also homered in the game and had three RBI.
Matthew Rusch (4-1), last year's Pitcher of the Year, was very effective. He held the Canaries to one run on eight hits while walking two and striking out seven.
Austin Brough was a bright spot in relief for the Canaries, tossing five innings and allowing just one run and two hits.
Nick Van Stratten quietly had three hits and scored the only Canaries run. J.P. Ramirez singled him home in the first inning. Rookie Nate Baumann had two hits for the third straight game.
The Canaries begin a three-game series against the Gary SouthShore RailCats on at 7:10 p.m. on Friday, June 7, at the U.S. Steel Yard in Gary, Ind. The game will be broadcast on Sioux Falls Sports Radio 1230-AM, 98.1-FM KWSN and www.kwsn.com.