06/23/2018 9:02 PM
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The Texas AirHogs dropped the second of the three-game set in Sioux Falls 6-2 Saturday. Stewart Ijames and Chen Junpeng each finished with two hits, but the AirHogs could not overcome an early 4-2 deficit. Texas and Sioux Falls will meet in a rubber match tomorrow at 1:05 p.m.
Tyler Matzek (0-4) got the start for the AirHogs and went 6.0 innings, allowing four runs (four earned) over the first three. He issued four walks while striking out six and allowing six hits.
The Canaries built a 2-0 lead after two before the AirHogs evened the score in the top of the third. Chen Junpeng led off the frame with a single and would score on an RBI base hit by Ijames, who later came in on a Sioux Falls error.
Sioux Falls responded with two runs off Matzek in the bottom of the third to take a 3-2 lead. They would add two more vs. reliever Qi Xin in the eighth to cement the win.
Zheng Chaoqun pitched a scoreless seventh in relief of Matzek, setting aside the Canaries in order. The game was the third in five starts with multiple hits for Chen Junpeng. Texas outhit the home team 10-7, but the AirHogs stranded eight while the Canaries left six.
Sioux Falls was led by former AirHog Burt Reynolds, who finished with two hits, including a double, and two RBIs. Kevin Folman (1-1) picked up the win as the starter after going 6.2 innings and allowing seven hits and two runs (two earned). Kyle Schepel earned his third save of the year in six-out fashion with scoreless eighth and ninth innings.
Texas (7-25) and Sioux Falls (12-21) will meet in the series-decider Sunday at 1:05 p.m. RHP Gan Quan (0-4, 4.80 ERA) will get the ball for the AirHogs. LHP Cesilio Pimentel (1-1, 1.73 ERA) will be on the mound for the Canaries. A live broadcast of the game will be available at mixlr.com/TXAirHogs.
The AirHogs – powered by Beijing Shougang Eagles return home June 29. Tickets for all home games are available. Visit AirHogsBaseball.com for more information. For the latest news, follow the team on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @TXAirHogs. Media inquiries: email@example.com.
[FRONT PAGE PHOTO BY KAREN HARMON]