Three Run 10th Gives Explorers Fourth Straight Win
Cleburne, TX – For the second straight night the game between the Sioux City Explorers and the Cleburne Railroaders could not be decided by the usual nine innings that a baseball game is suppose to be played in. And for the second straight night the Explorers came up with the plays needed in that fateful tenth inning to win their second straight extra inning game and fourth consecutive as they beat the Railroaders 6-3.
Cleburne jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second after a lead off walk, Chase Simpson doubled home the run and he would score on a base hit from John Nester.
Nate Samson lead off the fourth for Sioux City with a line drive home run to left to cut the deficit in half at 2-1 Cleburne. The shot was Samson’s first of the season.
Cleburne extended their lead back to two runs in the fifth when Zach Nehrir lead off the inning with a double. After a couple of outs it seemed as though the X’s might escape the jam but Nester again came up with a run scoring hit, this time a double to make it 3-1.
That would be the final hit of the night for the Railroaders however, over the next five innings the Explorers would no hit Cleburne.
Part of that was due to Eric Karch the starter for the X’s as he picked up the quality start but no decision, allowing three runs in six innings of work allowing seven hits while walking one and striking out seven.
Sioux City tied the game in the seventh with some clutch hitting. Drew Stankiewicz walked and Adam Sasser singled to get on base with no one out. But after a pair of strikeouts the Explorers were in danger of leaving the tying runs on base. But Wren would double down the left field line on a two strike pitch to drive home the runners and tie the game 3-3.
All three runs were charged to Cleburne starter Michael Gunn. Gunn earned a no decision as he went six innings, allowing three runs on five hits, striking out four and walking three.
That’s how it would stay until extra innings, as the Explorers bullpen was fantastic, Nathan Gercken tossed a scoreless seventh and Tyler Fallwell with a scoreless eighth and ninth. In total the Explorers struck out 14 in the game.
The tenth inning was certainly a strange inning for the Explorers as they would score three runs on just one hit. Dylan Kelly and Kyle Wren lead off the inning with walks. Michael Lang attempted to put down a sacrifice bunt but Kelly was thrown out at third. With Nate Samson at the plate the Explorers attempted a double steal. Martire Garcia the pitcher for the Railroaders caught Lang and Wren before he threw the ball home, he focused on Wren trying to get to third but his throw to the base was no where near the Cleburne third baseman and rolled to the wall and down the left field line. Wren scored easily on the error and Lang got to third. After walking Samson, Cleburne changed pitchers for Jose Sermo. The thought process being not to allow a big hit to Sermo. But Sermo dropped down the suicide squeeze bunt to perfection scoring Lang from third to pad the X’s lead to two runs and moving Samson into scoring position. Dexture McCall then capped off the rally with the Explorers lone hit of the inning on a ground ball to left to score Samson making it 6-3 Sioux City.
Matt Pobereyko notched his seventh save of the season by striking out two Railroaders in the bottom of the tenth to secure the victory.
With the win the Explorers have now won four in a row and seven of their last ten and have pulled to within a game of second place in the South Division standings. Sioux City will look to keep up the winning streak on Sunday as they send Taylor Jordan to the mound against Nefi Ogando with first pitch scheduled for 6:05 pm.
By Connor Ryan