Explorers Rally to Snap Skid to Saltdogs
By Austin Thomas, Sioux City Explorers
SIOUX CITY, Iowa – The Sioux City Explorers (32-28) took down the Lincoln Saltdogs (29-29) Thursday night in the series opener 4-2. The Explorers trailed 2-0 in the fourth, but came back with big fifth and sixth innings to take the win. The victory pushes Sioux City ahead of the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks in the West Division standings as they move into sole possession of second place.
The Saltdogs got on the board first, scoring their only runs of the game in the fourth inning, starting with Lincoln’s Luke Roskam ripping’s leadoff homer off X’s starter Trenton Toplikar (4-1), giving the Saltdogs a 1-0 lead. After Lincoln’s Yanio Perez grounded out, Will Kengor singled and reached second on an error by Explorers second baseman Delvin Zinn before Nate Samson singled him home, extending the Saltdogs lead to 2-0.
Sioux City responded in the fifth with two runs of their own, starting with X’s Zinn knocking a triple off Lincoln starter Josh Roeder (3-6) and scoring on a Matt Lloyd sac fly, cutting the deficit to 2-1. Explorers Vince Fernandez then singled and stole second, which allowed him to score on a Tyler Rando single to tie the game 2-2.
In the sixth inning, Sioux City’s Wilfredo Gimenez scored on an error from Saltdogs first baseman Yanio Perez on a Scott Ota grounder, giving the X’s a 3-2 lead. Explorers Ota came around to score later when Matt Lloyd ripped a double off Lincoln’s Roeder, extending the Sioux City lead to 4-2.
The bullpen locked it down from there, as X’s Sean Rackoski (12) earned the save with a perfect ninth inning to lead the Explorers to a win in their first game back from the All-Star break.
The Explorers will face the Lincoln Saltdogs Friday night in game two of a four game series with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. at Mercy One Field at Lewis and Clark Park. Tickets for the season can be purchased online as XSBaseball.com, in person at the Lewis and Clark Park Box Office or by calling 712-277-WINS. You can catch all the X’s action on aabaseball.tv and on radio at KSCJ 94.9 FM and 1360 AM.