Sermo Homers But Explorers Rally Falls Short in Cleburne
Cleburne, TX (July 18, 2021) – With second place in the division hanging in the balance down in Texas on Sunday night the Sioux City Explorers and Cleburne Railroaders played in an instant classic that eventually went to the Railroaders by a score of 4-3.
Cleburne struck first as after a lead off double, Alay Lago singled to bring home the game’s first run to put Cleburne up 1-0.
In the second the Railroaders added more as they scored with two outs in the inning after an infield single also produced a throwing error allowing Hunter Clanin to score from second. Back to back triples then from Osvaldo Martinez and Lago added another pair of runs to extend their lead to 4-0.
However that was the last of the Cleburne offense for the night as the X’s allowed just two hits for the rest of the game.
Leading that effort was Patrick Ledet (5-4) who was handed a tough loss as he went six innings, allowing those four runs on nine hits while striking out seven and walking none.
Danny Hrbek also followed late in the game with two perfect innings and two strikeouts out of the pen.
Sioux City was held without a base runner through the first three innings of the game but the offense came to life in the fourth when Jose Sermo homered to right field to trim Cleburne lead to 4-1.
Sermo’s home run was the nineteenth of the season and he continues to get closer to the franchise record as it was also number 54 of his Explorers career. He is now one behind Marty Neff (55) for second in the X’s franchise record books and three behind Nolan Lane (57).
Sioux City had an opportunity with bases loaded and no outs in the fifth to plate a run but were unable to after a pop out and a line out to second base on a diving play by Lago who then doubled off the runner at second.
Sioux City made it a one run game in the sixth. Lane Milligan doubled to begin the inning and scored when Chris Clare reached on an infield single. Clare scored from first base on a two out double from Mitch Ghelfi making it a 4-3 ball game.
The closest the Explorers got to tying the game was a baserunner reaching second. They had the opportunity in both the seventh and eighth innings but were unable to bring them in.
Picking up the win for Cleburne was Jheyson Manzueta (4-1) as he went six and two-thirds innings deep allowing three runs on six hits with three strikeouts and a walk.
Edward Cruz in the ninth earned his second save of the year with a perfect inning.
The Explorers with the loss now fall into third place and a game behind Cleburne. Sioux City’s road trip continues after an off day on Monday as they travel to Sioux Falls and the start of a three game series with the Canaries beginning on Tuesday at 7:05 pm.
By Connor Ryan, Sioux City Explorers