Samson, Sermo Power Sioux City to 8-2 Victory
The Sioux City Explorers took a 2-1 lead in their best of five series with the Kansas City T-Bones, thanks to a big night by Jose Sermo Sermo and Nate Samson, coupled with a sensational performance by the team’s bullpen in the 8-2 victory. Samson and Sermo each drove in three and Tyler Fallwell, Jose Velez, and Matt Pobereyko combined to toss 4.2 innings of scoreless relief.
The Sioux City Explorers would take a quick lead in the top of the second inning. The red-hot Jeremy Hazelbaker led off the inning by drawing a walk. José Sermo followed by drilling the first pitch he saw into the gap for a double. That brought Hazelbaker all the way around to score, giving Sioux City a 1-0 lead.
The lead did not last long, however. In the bottom of the second, Explorers starter Pete Tago walked the first two batters of the inning. Christian Correa grounded down to short, but the ball was misplayed allowing everyone to be safe. With the infield in, Omar Carrizales grounded down to second, but the throw to the plate was high and off the mark, allowing Daniel Nava to score to tie the game at one. A sacrifice fly by Shawn O’Malley brought home Casey Gillaspie and the Kansas City T-Bones had a 2-1 lead.
The Sioux City Explorers responded right away in the top of the third. Adam Sasser, Kyle Wren, and Drew Stankiewicz led off the inning with back-to-back-to-back singles. Nate Samson then beat out a ground ball for a base hit. The amazing part was that the Explorers had four hits in the frame and the ball had not even left the infield. After Hazelbaker struck out, Jose Sermo singled to bring in Wren and the Explorers were back on top.
In the fifth, Sioux City extended their lead to two. Wren walked to start the frame. Samson singled two batters later and then Hazelbaker was hit by a pitch to load the bases. A fielder’s choice by Sermo scored Wren to make it 4-2.
In the bottom of he seventh, the Kansas City T-Bones had a golden opportunity to tie this game. Gillaspie waked with one down. Two batters later, Omar Carrizales singled into left field. The Explorers left fielder dropped the ball in the transfer from his glove, allowing Gillaspie and Carrizales to easily move up a base. With two down and two in scoring position, Sioux City brought on Jose Velez, who worked the count to 2-2 before striking out O’Malley to end the threat.
That proved to be huge because Samson would put this game away in the top of the ninth inning. Stankiewicz singled with one down, and Samson followed by blasting the first pitch he saw over the left field wall for his first homer of the postseason. That made it 6-2. Sioux City was not done, however. Two batters later, Sermo walked and Dexture McCall followed with a double. T-Bones killer Dylan Kelly then singled to drive home two runs and this game was all but over.
In the ninth, Explorers closer Matt Pobereyko came on. He retired the T-Bones in order to finish off the 8-2 victory.
Nate Samson and Jose Sermo each finished with three hits and three RBI. Dylan Kelly drove in two with two hits. Tyler Fallwell tossed 2.1 innings of scoreless relief to earn the victory.
These two teams will be back at it tomorrow for Game 4. First pitch is scheduled for 5:05.
By Robert Pannier