Sioux Falls Canaries win season opener behind four hits from Jabari Henry
Ex-big leaguer Akeem Bostick delivers seven strong innings on the mound as Birds get off to winning start
SIOUX FALLS — The Canaries got off to a winning start in 2023, cruising past the Cleburne Railroaders 7-2 in an Opening Day matinee on Thursday at the Birdcage.
Veteran slugger Jabari Henry led the charge, going 4-for-4 at the plate with a double and three singles, as the Canaries scored two in the first and single runs in the second and third innings to take an early lead that was in good hands behind starting pitcher Akeem Bostick.
A former New York Met, Bostick worked seven strong innings in his Birds debut, allowing a run on five hits while fanning five and walking one. Christian Johnson worked the last two innings in relief.
Henry, who is already the Canaries' all-time leader in home runs and RBI, became the franchise's all-time hits leader with his four-hit performance.
Wyatt Ulrich got the season off to an ideal start, lining an opposite field single to lead off the year and later coming around to score on Henry's first hit, a single to right. Mike Hart then singled in Welington Dotel, who'd reached on a fielder's choice, to make it 2-0.
In the second, former Augustana standout Jordan Barth tripled off the wall in right-center in his first at-bat as a Canary and scored when Ulrich notched his second consecutive single to make it 3-0.
Henry doubled in his next at-bat and scored on an RBI single by Trevor Achenbach, and the Birds then put it away with a three-run fifth on an RBI single by Hunter Clanin and a two-run single by Marshall Rich.
Clanin and Ulrich each had two hits while Henry scored two runs.
The Railroaders got both of their runs on solo homers, off the bats of Hill Alexander (who was 3-for-4) and Ryan Hernandez. Riley Smith took the loss for Cleburne, allowing seven runs on 11 hits in 4.2 innings.
The two teams are back at it Friday night for a 6:35 first pitch, with postgame fireworks.