KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- It was a heartbreaker for the Sioux Falls Canaries on Wednesday. The Kansas City T-Bones (34-33) scored five runs in the bottom of the ninth to pull out a 7-6 walk-off win at T-Bones Stadium.
Alay Lago hit his ninth home run of the season for the Birds (31-38). Andrew Ely stayed hot at the plate, going 4-for-5 with a stolen base and two runs scored.
Newly-signed Harrison Cooney made his Canaries debut in the fourth, striking out three batters in 1.2 hitless innings. The result sets up a rubber game Thursday night.
Birds starter Ryan Froom got off to a tough start on the mound, walking four in the first inning. T-Bones designated hitter Chris Colabello drove in the game's first run on a ground ball.
The Birds responded right away in the second. Lago's homer, a line drive over the left-field wall, tied game at 1. The Birds added a second run on a Mitch Glasser RBI infield single, and left the second inning with a 2-1 lead.
Sioux Falls padded their lead in the fourth, with the help of some small ball. Two bunt singles and a walk loaded the bases for Glasser, who earned his second RBI of the night with a sac fly.
A Graham Low infield hit brought up Brett Vertigan, who hit a sinking liner to center field. Danny Mars made an outstanding diving catch to rob Vertigan of a hit, but it still gave the Canaries a 4-1 lead.
Froom continued to struggle with his control throughout the game. The former South Dakota State starter walked nine batters in 3.1 innings of work, though he didn't allow a hit and struck out three.
Birds manager Mike Meyer pulled Froom in the bottom of the fourth with the bases loaded and one out, calling on Cooney to get out of the jam. Cooney struck out Shawn O'Malley and Daniel Nava back-to-back to end the threat.
Sioux Falls added two runs in the sixth on a two-run double from Burt Reynolds. It was his second RBI double in as many nights and brought his season RBI total to 42.
Rookie Tyler Lesley tossed the next three innings for Sioux Falls, allowing just one run on a Roy Morales sacrifice fly in the seventh. Lesly allowed four hits, walking one and striking out one.
The ninth inning didn't go so smoothly for Sioux Falls. Will Solomon came on to start the inning, allowing a leadoff single to Mason Davis. Roy Morales singled Davis home two batters later to make it 6-3 Canaries.
Tyler Marincov walked to bring Danny Mars to the plate. Mars delivered a no-doubt homer to left field, tying the game.
A walk and a single put men on first and third with one out for Kansas City, and Meyer brought Alex Ogren in to pitch. Ogren allowed a Shawn O'Malley walk-off sacrifice fly.
Sioux Falls and Kansas City finish their series Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. Mark Seyler will start for Sioux Falls; Jon Perrin will get the nod for Kansas City. Birds Fans can tune in to the game on Sioux Falls Sports Radio 98.1 FM and AM 1230 KWSN.