Explorers Bullpen Falters as Railroaders Rally
Sioux City, IA (August 13, 2021) – The Sioux City Explorers saw the Cleburne Railroaders score twice in the ninth inning as they fell in an important series opener 7-6.
Early on the Cleburne offense raced out to a lead as Ramon Hernandez and DJ Peterson singles in the first made it 2-0 Railroaders. A throwing error in the second inning allowed a third run to score. And back to back two out singles from Osvaldo Martinez and Hernandez gave Cleburne a 5-0 lead.
Sioux City finally got the bats working in the fourth, when Jose Sermo clobbered a two run home run. He was followed just a couple of batters later by Seamus Curran who hit a solo jack to make it 5-3. Lane Milligan scored on a ground out after reaching on a double to cut the Railroaders lead down to just one, 5-4.
The Explorers took the lead in the fifth after Sebastian Zawada tied the game with a base hit. With bases loaded and two outs it was a ground ball by Blake Tiberi that was booted by Cleburne for an error that gave Sioux City a 6-5 lead.
The X’s held that lead until the ninth thanks to two scoreless innings of relief from Max Kuhns.
In the ninth, Cleburne began their rally with a one out single from Alay Lago. After a single from Osvaldo Martinez it was Hernandez who delivered his third RBI of the night with a line drive to left, tying the game at six. On the throw to the infield, Sioux City booted the ball into shallow left, allowing Martinez to advance from second base and score as the throw to home was unable to be handled giving Cleburne the lead 7-6 on the error.
After Cleburne took the lead, there was a 22 minute delay due to a power outage in the surrounding area.
Taking the loss for the Explorers was Nate Gercken (2-2) as he tossed two-thirds of an inning allowing two runs on three hits with a pair of walks.
Austin Fairchild (5-4) got the win in relief as he tossed a scoreless inning with a run and a walk.
Edward Cruz picked up his seventh save of the year with a scoreless ninth as he worked around a one out walk with three strikeouts.
Sioux City and Cleburne meet in game two of the series on Saturday night at 6:05 pm with southpaw Brett Adcock (3-8, 5.71) taking the mound for Sioux City and fellow lefty Kody Bullard (1-1, 3.16) on the bump for Cleburne.
By Connor Ryan, Sioux City Explorers