Bates Shuts Down RedHawks to Lead Series Victory
By Austin Thomas, Sioux City Explorers
FARGO, ND— The Sioux City Explorers (19-21) took down the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks (24-14) in a 2-0 shutout following another quality start from Explorers starter Solomon Bates (5-3). Bates pitched 7.2 innings, allowing just two hits and four walks while striking out seven batters. The X’s created a 2.5 game cushion in front of the Canaries in the West division while remaining one game back of the Saltdogs for third place in the division. The win completed a 5-4 road trip for Sioux City in their longest road swing of the season.
The X’s grabbed the first run of the game in the first inning after John Nogowski smoked an RBI double down the left field line off Fargo starter Kevin McGovern (5-2), scoring Vince Fernandez and giving the lead to the Explorers 1-0. The X’s threatened in the third and fourth inning with two runners on but couldn’t get anybody past second base until the eighth inning.
Fortunately for Sioux City, Explorers Bates had another stellar start, carrying a no-hitter into the sixth inning before the RedHawks finally recorded a hit on an Evan Alexander double. Fargo’s Alexander reached third base on a Sam Dexter sacrifice, but he was left stranded as X’s Bates worked out of the jam. Bates continued to impress for Sioux City with a perfect seventh inning, striking out the side.
The Explorers added an insurance run in the ninth when Jake Ortega knocked in Matt Lloyd with an RBI single to right field off Fargo’s Reza Aleaziz that took a bad hop off the infield dirt, extending Sioux City’s lead to 2-0. Sean Rackoski (5) closed it out for the X’s, striking out RedHawks Jack Hanson as part of a shutout ninth inning, earning him the save.
The Explorers will enjoy an off day Monday before returning to action at home Tuesday, June 27 for the first game of a three-game series with the Sioux Falls Canaries. Tickets for the season can be purchased online at XSBaseball.com, in person at the Lewis and Clark Park Box Office or by calling 712-277-WINS. You can catch all the X’s action on aabaseball.tv and on radio at KSCJ 94.9 FM and 1360 AM.