SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- You could say the Birds beat the Saltdogs 9-9.
The Sioux Falls Canaries scored five runs in the eighth inning to force a draw in a wild spring training matchup with the Lincoln Saltdogs on Monday at the Birdcage.
Jordan Ebert hit a three-run home run to put the Birds within one in the eighth, and Kevin Taylor's RBI single later in the inning tied things up. Sioux Falls leadoff hitter Brett Vertigan was a home run short of the cycle in the contest, scoring three runs.
The scoring in the game started out slower than the final score would indicate. The Canaries failed to reach base in the first three innings against Lincoln starter Ricky Knapp, and Lincoln scored their only run on a second-inning error by Vertigan in center field.
Canaries starter Keaton Steele pitched four innings, allowing one unearned run on five hits while walking two and striking out three.
Sioux Falls took their only lead of the game in the fourth after back-to-back RBI singles by Taylor and second baseman Mitch Glasser made it 2-1.
A three-run homer by Saltdogs second baseman John Sansone put the visitors back in front in the fifth. Glasser would double in a run in the bottom half of the inning, but a two-run single by Ivan Marin gave the Saltdogs a 6-3 advantage after six.
The Birds added a run in the seventh on a Glasser sacrifice fly. But another Lincoln three-run homer, this time by DH Nick Schultz, made it 9-4.
Sioux Falls brought in their first run on a fielding error by Lincoln first baseman Cody Regis, and Ebert and Taylor did the rest.
Lincoln loaded the bases in the 10th inning against Sioux Falls reliever Kevin Simmons, but Simmons delivered back-to-back strikeouts to get out of the jam. After both teams failed to score in the 10th, the managers agreed to call it a tie.
Sioux Falls plays their final spring training game of the season Tuesday afternoon at the Birdcage vs. the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks. First pitch is scheduled for 5pm. The game will be free to attend and open to the public.