LINCOLN — The Sioux Falls Canaries (34-56) survived a ninth-inning rain delay and downed the Saltdogs (31-59) 5-4 in front of 2,926 fans at Haymarket Park Thursday night.
Under heavy rain, Aaron Payne worked a two-out walk to load the bases in the bottom of the ninth. Before Curt Smith stepped into the batter’s box, the umpires signaled for a delay.
After 22 minutes, Sioux Falls closer Chase Johnson struck out Curt Smith to end the game and earn his 13th save.
Sioux Falls took the lead on an unearned run in the top of the ninth, capitalizing on a Marshall Schuler throwing error.
Mitch Canham delivered a two-out, RBI single to tie the game at 4-4 in the bottom of the eighth.
Aaron Payne went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI, giving Lincoln a 1-0 lead and a 3-2 lead in the first and fifth respectively.
Game two of the four-game series is Friday night at 7:05 p.m. with a fireworks show to follow. RHP Shairon Martis (6-2, 3.30) is set to face RHP Ray Hanson (1-0, 4.50). Radio coverage begins at 6:35 p.m. on KFOR FM 103.3/1240 AM.