Lloyd Leads Explorers Destruction of Canaries
By: Dan Vaughan Jr. and Austin Thomas, Sioux City Explorers
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The Sioux City Explorers (9-2) pounded out season high 20 hits, scoring 17 runs including two grand slams to beat the Sioux Falls Canaries (4-8) 17-7 Tuesday night at Sioux Falls Stadium. In the offensive explosion, every player in their lineup recorded a hit, including eight combined hits and nine RBIs between Eury Perez and Matt Lloyd.
The game began with the Explorers exploding for six runs in the first inning. The X’s first three batters reached base safely and with one out, Lloyd stepped up to the plate, swatting a two-RBI double off Sioux Falls starter Ty Culbreth (0-2). The X’s once again loaded the bases for former major leaguer Perez, who stepped into the batter’s box with two outs and smacked a grand slam over the left field wall to extend the lead to 6-0.
The Canaries responded by putting up three runs in the bottom of the first, but they could not climb back that inning. Wyatt Ulrich led off with a single off Sioux City starter Solomon Bates (2-0) before Darnell Sweeney hit him in with an RBI double. Jordan Barth knocked Sweeney in with a two-out RBI single before Hunter Clanin hit an RBI double to cut the lead in half.
The game would settle down for the next four innings until the top of the fifth. Miguel Sierra led off the inning with a double off Culbreth. Lloyd followed with a two-run homer to give the X’s an 8-3 lead. Bates followed with a perfect shutdown inning for the X’s. Bates would work six innings to pick up the win for Sioux City.
Damon Rademacher came into the game in the sixth for Culbreth and twirled a perfect inning for the Canaries. Sioux Falls proceeded to cut the deficit to two runs by way of a Clanin three-run shot off Bates as they looked to make the game closer at 8-6.
With two outs in the seventh inning, Lloyd once again stepped up to the plate and hit a double to keep the inning alive. Sioux City catcher Wilfredo Gimenez followed by driving him home with an RBI single to make it 9-6. Brandon Brosher came in for Bates to start the seventh and, with the help of Gimenez throwing out Ulrich on a stolen base attempt, went three up, three down. The X’s got four runs in the eighth, with Perez scoring on a wild pitch, Sierra collecting a 2-RBI double, and Lloyd once again roping an RBI double. With the Canaries down 13-6, Clanin had an RBI sac fly, but Sioux Falls couldn’t make it any closer with Nate Gercken on the mound for Sioux City. The ninth inning saw yet another grand slam for the X’s, with Vince Fernandez belting a no-doubter over the right field wall. Sean Rackoski came into the game in the ninth and only allowed a single before getting three outs and sealing the game.
The Explorers will wrap up their road swing with the final game of the three-game series in Sioux Falls Wednesday night against the Canaries. Game time is 6:35 at the “Bird Cage”. Sioux City is expected to start RHP Mitchell Verburg while Sioux Falls will throw LHP Neil Lang. The Explorers return home Friday May 26th to host the Lincoln Saltdogs in the first of a three-game series. Tickets for the season can be purchased online at 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.