Game 1 Rally Earns Explorers Double-Header Split
Lincoln, NE (July 6, 2021) – The Sioux City Explorers split a doubleheader with the Lincoln Saltdogs on Tuesday. The Explorers won game one by a score of 7-5 and Lincoln took game two by a 4-0 margin.
Josh Altmann crushed a two run home run in the bottom of the first in game one to give the Saltdogs an early 2-0 lead.
Sioux City countered with a run in the third as Chase Harris reached on an error. He went to third on a single and a double play ball that would have ended the inning was dropped and allowed Harris to score, cutting the deficit in half 2-1.
Curt Smith added to his Lincoln franchise record with a solo home run to lead off the fourth and give Lincoln a 3-1 lead.
With two outs in the fifth Jose Sermo hit his sixteenth home run of the season to get the X’s back to within a run. Sioux City then tied the game after a base hit and a walk, on a Zawada base hit and took the lead 4-3 on a Chase Harris single.
Nate Gercken (2-0) worked around a lead off single in the fifth as he struck out Altmann and got Smith to ground into a double play. Gercken picked up the win as he tossed an inning and two-thirds not allowing a baserunner and striking out one.
Tyler Anderson (1-1) was handed the loss in relief as he allowed two runs on three hits with one strikeout and no walks.
Sioux City added another three runs in the seventh on a Sebastian Zawada sacrifice fly and a Joseph Monge two out, two run single to push the lead to 7-3.
The insurance runs ended up being vital as Lincoln was able to score a pair of runs in the seventh and got the tying run into scoring position against Matt Pobereyko. But Pobereyko earned his league leading thirteenth save of the season by collecting the final four outs of the game and struck out the final two batters he faced to finish the win.
Kyle Kinman tossed the first complete game shutout of his career as he dominated the X’s allowing just a single hit over his seven innings.
Kinman (4-1) needed just 86 pitches to navigate his seven innings of work. He allowed only one walk while also hitting two batters, giving up only four baserunners total. The Explorers lone hit of the night came in the fifth inning on a Chase Harris single to left. He stole second and was the only Sioux City Explorer to reach scoring position against the Lincoln lefty.
Lincoln scored all four of their runs in the first inning. A Josh Altmann single scored the game’s first run. Two wild pitches scored another two for Lincoln and then a sacrifice fly from Yanio Perez to give the Saltdogs a 4-0 lead.
Jonah Smith (0-1) was handed the loss despite a strong outing past the messy first inning. After the first he ended up throwing five more frames, allowing from that point on only two hits, a walk and five strikeouts.
In total Smith went all six innings, allowing the four runs on four hits with three walks and six strikeouts.
Sioux City and Lincoln continue their series on Wednesday as right hander Zach Hedges will take the bump for the X’s and will be opposed by righty Keenan Bartlett.
By Connor Ryan, Sioux City Explorers