GARY, Ind. – The Sioux Falls Canaries beat the Gary SouthShore RailCats 9-5 on Sunday afternoon at the U.S. Steel Yard and completed a three-game road sweep of the RailCats for the first time in team history.
Playing their best baseball all season, the Canaries (11-13) have won five of their last six games and improved to a 6-3 mark in June after a slow start in May. They are two games behind first-place Fargo-Moorhead in the North Division.
The Canaries never trailed in the game but twice saw Gary SouthShore (11-11) come back and tie the game in the early innings. Jared Clark broke a 3-3 tie in the third inning by launch a leadoff home run, his ninth of the year, and Nate Baumann reached and scored on three errors. Cory Morales punctuated a three-run rally with an RBI single before Gary SouthShore answered with two more runs in bottom of the third to make it 6-5.
Canaries centerfielder Nick Van Stratten, who led off the game with his third home run, led all Canaries hitters, going 3-for-4 with four RBI to cap a series in which he had eight hits, five runs scored, and five RBI. He has matched an earlier season high with a nine-game hitting streak.
Mitchell Clegg (1-0) earned his first victory of the year despite allowing all five runs in the first three innings. He held the RailCats scoreless in the fourth and fifth frames, while a trio of relievers – Jack Van Leur, Kyle Vazquez and Matt Daly – combined to shut out Gary SouthShore in the final four innings. Clegg yielded nine hits, walked three and struck out two.
The Canaries bullpen has allowed just one earned run in its last 24 2/3 innings pitched across seven games.
Morales hit a two-out, run-scoring single again in the seventh inning and scored on Van Stratten's two-run base hit three batters later. Morales was 2-for-5 with two RBI. Jake Taylor was also 2-for-4 and had at least one RBI in all three games of the series.
Nate Baumann doubled in the ninth inning to extend a hitting streak to nine games.
Gary SouthShore starter Ari Ronick (3-2) gave up six runs, four earned, on seven hits in five innings and took the loss. He walked one and struck out four.
The Canaries begin a three-game home series against the Lincoln Saltdogs at 7:05 p.m. on Monday, June 10, 2013. Tickets can be purchased for just $1 at the box office. The game will be broadcast on Sioux Falls Sports Radio 1230-AM, 98.1-FM KWSN and www.kwsn.com.