By Tim Costello
The AirHogs pitching staff picked up where they left off versus Lincoln tonight, looking past last night’s tired performance. Erik Manoah was once again brilliant guiding the team through 6 innings of 2 run baseball in a 3-2 win.
The AirHogs scored first as Justin Byrd came home to score on a fielders choice off the bat of Chen Junpeng.
The Canaries would answer in the second however using an Alay Lago home run and a Clint Coulter triple to take a 2-1 lead.
The AirHogs tied the game in the 3rd inning with Byrd and Randle both reaching to start the inning. Byrd would eventually come home to score on a wild pitch, tying the game 2-2.
In the bottom of the 5th it looked like Sioux Falls would take the lead. With a runner on third and one out in the inning Justin Byrd caught a deep fly ball and let loose an unbelievable throw, nailing antagging Clint Coulter at the plate. The double play kept the score tied 2-2.
That is where it would remain with one out in the top of the ninth inning. With no one on base and Justin Byrd at the plate, he connected on a 2-2 pitching driving it out to right, putting the AirHogs up 3-2.
Brett Eibner would come on for the save in the ninth. He struck out Kevin Taylor before walking Burt Reynolds after a 9 pitch at bat. Then in a terrible baserunning blunder Reynolds was picked off when he mistimed Brett Eibner’s delivery and tried to steal while the righty still had the ball in his hand. Eibner tossed to first, a pickle ensued, and Reynolds was tagged out. Then Eibner struck out Graham Low to end the game.
Tonight’s win was #25 on the season, tying the mark from last year’s team with still 10 games remaining. They have an opportunity to win back to back series as well tomorrow night against the Birds. This AirHogs team may have started slow but since mid July they have been an extremely competitive ball club and it showed again tonight.
The AirHogs prepare for game three of the series with Sioux Falls tomorrow night, first pitch at 7:05. The AirHogs are sending RHP Trevor to the mound hoping to win the series. .
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