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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

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Jabari Henry lines a single to right field in the first inning of the American Association opener between the Sioux Falls Canaries and Cleburne Railroaders on Thursday, May 11, 2023 at Sioux Falls Stadium. The Canaries won the game 7-2.
Matt Zimmer/Forum News Service

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.

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Canaries pitcher Akeem Bostic worked seven innings to pick up the win against Cleburne in the American Association season opener on Thursday, May 11, 2023 at Sioux Falls Stadium.
Matt Zimmer/Forum News Service

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.

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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.

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Canaries right fielder Welington Dotel makes a bobbling catch of a pop fly in the second inning of the season opener against Cleburne on Thursday, May 11, 2023 at Sioux Falls Stadium.
Matt Zimmer/Forum News Service

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.

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Cleburne shortstop Elmer Reyes tries to apply a leaping tag as the Canaries' Wyatt Ulrich slides in with a stolen base in the American Association opener on Thursday, May 11, 2023 at Sioux Falls Stadium. The Canaries won 7-2.
Matt Zimmer/Forum News Service

The two teams are back at it Friday night for a 6:35 first pitch, with postgame fireworks.

Matt Zimmer is a Sioux Falls native and longtime sports writer. He graduated from Washington High School where he played football, legion baseball and developed his lifelong love of the Minnesota Twins and Vikings. After graduating from St. Cloud State University, he returned to Sioux Falls, and began a long career in amateur baseball and sports reporting. Email Matt at mzimmer@siouxfallslive.com.
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