Pitchers Lead Explorers to Victory in Exhibition Finale
St. Paul, MN – The Explorers played in their final exhibition game of the spring this afternoon when they took on the St. Paul Saints at CHS Field and came away with the 3-1 victory to finish off their exhibition schedule.
Sioux City got off on a quick start in the top of the first inning as last seasons American Association Player of the Year Jose Sermo drove in Daytona Bryden who worked a game opening walk and stole second base, with a two run home run. Sermo last season had become the first Sioux City Explorer to put together a 20/20 season and the first player in the Steve Montgomery era to hit over 20 home runs in a campaign.
Eric Karch got the start for the Explorers this season as he changes his role from closer to starter in 2019. Karch pitched well through four innings of work in his last tune up of the spring. He allowed just a single run on two hits and struck out one.
The Saints lone run of the game came when Jeremy Martinez lead off the frame with a walk. He would go first to third on a base hit and come home thanks to a sacrifice fly by Dan Motl to make it 2-1 X’s.
The Sioux City bullpen however, was lights out the rest of the way. Tyler Fallwell added two scoreless innings of relief out of the pen for the X’s while punching out two. And Matt Pobereyko pitched for a second consecutive day tossing a perfect inning with another strikeout to add to the trip. Anthony Bender had a perfect eighth with a pair of punch outs and Nathan Gercken earned the save by finishing the ball game with a scoreless ninth with a pair of strikeouts. In total the bullpen put together 5 scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and two walks and six punch outs.
The X’s tacked on to their lead in the ninth and added an insurance run. Michael Lang hit an infield double, a slow roller up the third base line hugged the chalk and stayed fair, Lang took advantage of the Saints watching the slow roller and took second base with no one covering the bag. Bryden would then beat out an infield single and both runners would advance. A wild pitch would score the speedy Lang and make it 3-1 Sioux City.
The Explorers finish the exhibition schedule with a 4-2 record after splitting the two game series with the St. Paul Saints. Sioux City now turns their attention to Thursday night and opening day against the Lincoln Saltdogs. First pitch of the 2019 regular season is set for 7:12 pm from MercyOne Field at Lewis and Clark Park.
By Conner Ryan