Sierra, Sermo Spur Sioux City to Even Series, 6-2
Sioux City, IA- The Explorers got the win they needed on a misty Sunday afternoon as Carlos Sierra delivered a wonderful starting pitching performance and Jose Sermo yet again came up clutch for the X’s and Sioux City defeated the Kansas City T-Bones 6-2 to force an all important rubber game in the final home game of the 2019 regular season.
The Explorers began the scoring with a run in the first as Jeremy Hazelbaker drove home Drew Stankiewicz who avoided the tag at the plate to put the X’s up 1-0.
Kansas City used a Shawn O’Malley two out double to bring home two runs in the fifth and jump ahead of the X’s 2-1.
However those were the only two runs that Kansas City would score off of Explorers starter Carlos Sierra (8-1). Sierra tossed six innings allowing just two runs on only five hits, with six strikeouts and a single walk.
The X’s would take the lead for good in the home half of the fifth. A pair of singles and a hit batter loaded the bases with two outs for Jose Sermo. The previous game Sermo crushed a grand slam in the same situation. This time he rocketed a double to right field which cleared the bases and gave Sioux City a 4-2 lead.
Sermo through the first two games of the series is 3-5, with a home run, two doubles, seven RBI’s and has been walked three times.
Sebastian Zawada swatted his tenth homer of the season in the sixth to pad the lead to 6-2 in Sioux City’s favor.
That long ball would knock Dylan Baker (3-5) from the game as he lasted five and a third innings, giving up five runs on seven hits while striking out four and walking one. It snapped a streak of four straight quality starts for the right hander.
The X’s would manufacture a run in the seventh. A lead off walk and a bunt single would be followed by a sacrifice bunt and an intentional walk to load the bases. Dexture McCall drove home the lone run of the inning with a sacrifice fly to center making it 6-2.
Tyler Fallwell held onto the lead with two scoreless innings out of the pen, punching out four batters. Matt Pobereyko tossed a scoreless ninth in a non save situation recording a strikeout to end the ball game making the X’s total 11 for the game.
The win brings the X’s into a tie for the wild card and a game and a half behind Cleburne for the division lead.
The rubber game is set for Monday night at 7:12 pm. It’s the final home game of the regular season for the Explorers. The winner will have a one game lead for the wild card heading into the final week of the season with the X’s and T-Bones finishing the season with the final four games in Kansas City. The Explorers will send Eric Karch to the mound and he will be opposed by Akeem Bostick.
by Connor Ryan