Amaral Homer Caps off Explorers Comeback
By Connor Ryan, Sioux City Explorers
Gary, IN (June 11, 2022) – Pitchers hitting, back to back homers, the Sioux City Explorers ninth inning comeback had it all against the Gary SouthShore RailCats as the X’s pulled off the win 6-3.
Sioux City struck first in the second inning. A Nick Franklin single with the bases loaded and one out brought home the games first run but Chase Harris was thrown out at the plate to keep the X’s lead to only 1-0.
Tom Windle the X’s starter was magnificent throwing four no hit innings to begin his night. He surrendered only two hits over his five total frames but they came in the form of back to back solo home runs from Sam Abbott and Thomas Walraven to give the RailCats a 2-1 lead.
Gary added a run in the sixth when a error with two outs in the inning scored a run from third to push the RailCats lead to 3-1.
Heading into the ninth, Sioux City brought up the bottom third of their order trailing by two runs. Blake Tiberi reached to lead off the inning when he RailCats first baseman committed an error missing the throw. After a fly out to center, John Anthon singled to right field to put two runners aboard.
Chase Harris was ejected from the game in the ninth for arguing balls and strikes leading to X’s pitcher Patrick Ledet playing in left field. Ledet had started game one of the doubleheader the previous day. Ledet’s turn in the order came up in the ninth and he singled into centerfield in his first professional plate appearance to drive home a run and make it a 3-2 game.
After Jack Eisenbarger (1-2) who took the loss was relieved by Carlos Vega. Danny Amaral homered the opposite way over the right field wall to give Sioux City a 5-3 lead. He was quickly followed by a home run from Nick Franklin as the X’s went back to back in the ninth.
In the bottom of the inning, Thomas McIlraith (7) pitched for a second straight day and earned the save, his third of the road trip with a scoreless frame.
Nate Gercken (1-0) picked up the win in relief for Sioux City with a scoreless eighth.
The Explorers will finish off the series and the road trip on Sunday afternoon at 2:05 pm. Zach Hedges (0-2, 5.29) will take the bump for Sioux City and will be opposed by lefty Chris Erwin (0-1, 4.73) for the RailCats.