Explorers End Skid with Double-Header Split
Sioux City, IA (August 11, 2021) – The Sioux City Explorers split a double header with the Kansas City Monarchs on Wednesday dropping game one 3-2 but taking game two 5-2 to end an eight game losing streak.
Kansas City was supplied with all the offense they would need with one swing of Gabby Guerrero’s bat in the top of the first inning. His three run home run put the Monarchs up 3-0 in the first.
Seamus Curran cut into the Monarchs lead with a solo home run to lead off the bottom of the second inning making it 3-1.
Sioux City added another in the sixth inning when Lane Milligan plated Curran on an RBI single making it 3-2. However after a bunt single it presented Sioux City with a bases loaded no one out situation with the tying run at third and the go ahead run at second and Sioux City could not take advantage, popping out twice and striking out once to leave the bases loaded.
Sioux City struggled to score runs in the game as they went 2-12 with runners in scoring position and left eleven men on.
Taking the loss for the X’s was Tyler Koch (0-1) making his first professional start he went four and two-thirds innings allowing just the three runs from the first inning, on six hits with three walks and three strikeouts.
Justin Shafer (6-3) picked up the win for Kansas City, surrendering just one run in five innings with two hits and five walks with three strikeouts.
Jameson McGrane was able to close out the game to earn his second save as he left the winning run at second base in the seventh.
Despite being played within an hour of each other the fortunes of driving runners in from scoring position completely flipped between the two teams from game one to game two.
The Monarchs in game two ended up leaving thirteen men on base and going 0-10 with runners in scoring position and twice left the bases loaded.
Sioux City on the other hand finally came up with some much needed timely hits which began in the second as DJ Poteet and LT Tolbert went back to back with two out RBI singles to put the X’s ahead 2-0.
Kansas City would tie the game in the fourth inning as for a third time in the game they had bases loaded and only one out. Will Kengor scored on a wild pitch and Darnell Sweeney tied the game with a sacrifice fly to right field, knotting it up 2-2.
However the game changed in an unlikely way in the bottom of the fourth. Sebastian Zawada was hit by a pitch to open the frame. Chase Harris pinch ran for him. Harris was able to avoid a double play by running on the pitch to reach second. He stole third and then scored on a wild pitch that ended up being a dropped third strike to give Sioux City the lead 3-2.
Harris then delivered yet again for the Explorers with two outs in the bottom of the fifth when he doubled off the left field wall to score two runs extending the Sioux City lead to 5-2.
The three runs that separated the X’s and Monarchs Chase Harris either drove in or scored after being subbed in as a pinch runner in the fourth.
Earning the win in relief for the X’s was Max Kuhns (6-1) who was pitching on his 27th birthday. He went an inning and two-thirds allowing two runs on two hits with a couple of strikeouts and a walk.
Nate Gercken picked up the final five outs of the ballgame to lock down his second save of the season.
The Explorers and Monarchs will wrap up the series on Thursday night with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 pm. Sioux City will send Patrick Ledet (6-4, 6.42) to the bump to face off against right hander Nick Travieso (7-8, 5.84).
By Connor Ryan, Sioux City Explorers