06/24/2018 5:21 PM
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The Texas AirHogs scored four times in the seventh and eighth to rally from a late 3-1 deficit and take the series finale vs. the Canaries 5-4. The win clinched the team’s first series victory of the season.
Gan Quan got the start for Texas and went five innings, limiting Sioux Falls to three runs (three earned) on six hits. He struck out three and walked four. In his final inning, he held Sioux Falls to just one run after loading the bases with no one out to keep the AirHogs in the game at 3-1.
The Canaries tagged Gan Quan for a pair of runs in the third before Dillon Thomas stole home in the fourth on a snap throw to second with the bases loaded to get Texas on the board. The steal was the fourth of the series for Thomas.
Trailing 3-1 in the seventh, the AirHogs rallied for a pair of runs to even the score at 3-3. Chen Chen cued the comeback by taking a hit-by-pitch as the leadoff man. He would score on an RBI double by Correlle Prime. Pinch hitter Chen Junpeng would reach with a hit-by-pitch as well and come in later in the frame on a fielder’s choice hit into by Casio Grider.
The AirHogs struck for two more in the eighth on an RBI single by Stewart Ijames that scored Song Yunqi and an RBI walk with the bases loaded by Thomas to score Luan Chenchen.
Lu Yusong, Cui Enting, and Taylor Wright held the Canaries hitless from the sixth through the eighth. Carlos Contreras entered in the ninth, and, after allowing a solo home run to Burt Reynolds, shut the door on the 5-4 win.
Cui Enting (1-0) picked up the win. The save was the second of the road trip and season for Contreras. Kyle Schepel (0-3) took the loss after allowing two runs and four hits in the eighth. Sioux Falls starter Cesilio Pimentel, who went 6.1 innings and allowed just two runs (one earned) took a no-decision.
Song Yunqi led all batters with three hits. Du Xiaolei finished with two hits. The AirHogs outhit the Canaries 11-8 and outhit the home team in every game of the series.
Texas (8-25) enjoys a day off tomorrow and will take on the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks (17-17) in a three-game series at Newman Outdoor Field starting Tuesday at 7:02 p.m. Starters for both teams are TBA. 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]