Bates Wins Seventh as Explorers Extend Winning Streak
By Austin Thomas, Sioux City Explorers
OCONOMOWOC, Wis. – The Sioux City Explorers (29-25) kept the wins rolling Monday night, taking down the Lake Country DockHounds (24-28) in Oconomowoc, 8-3. The Explorers fell behind early but quickly fought back and held on the rest of the game. The X’s are now tied for second in the West Division with the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, who didn’t play tonight.
The game began rocky for Sioux City starter Solomon Bates (7-4), who allowed a leadoff home run to DockHounds Blake Tiberi, giving Lake Country the early 1-0 lead. After Thomas Jones walked and advanced to third on a throwing error by Explorers catcher Wilfredo Gimenez, he scored quickly on a Demetrius Sims double off X’s Bates, making it 2-0 Lake Country in the first inning.
Sioux City responded in the second inning when Explorers Kyle Kasser scored on a bases-loaded walk to Jake Sanford from DockHounds starter Mike Shawaryn (4-5), cutting the deficit to 2-1. X’s Wilfredo Gimenez then scored when Matt Lloyd knocked an RBI single off Shawaryn, tying it 2-2.
In the third inning, Sioux City’s Tyler Rando led off with a solo shot off Lake Country’s Shawaryn, giving the Explorers a 3-2 lead. X’s Jake Ortega followed, going back-to-back with another homer and extending the Sioux City lead to 4-2.
Lake Country cut into the X’s lead in the bottom of the frame when Tiberi scored on a Marcus Chiu double off Explorers Bates, making it 4-3, but Demetrius Sims got tagged out at home at the end of the play to finish the inning.
After Ortega led off the fifth inning with a single, X’s Miguel Sierra ripped a no-doubt homer off Lake Country’s Shawaryn, bringing the Sioux City lead to 6-3.
Explorers Bates finished the night with eight strikeouts when Kent Hasler relieved him in the eighth inning, striking out all three batters that inning.
In the top of the ninth, Sioux City’s Delvin Zinn scored as a pinch runner on a wild pitch from DockHounds reliever Alberto Gonzales III before Sierra scored on a Gimenez sac fly, making it 8-3. Sean Rackoski relieved Hasler in the ninth, locking it down and clinching the eighth straight victory for the X’s.
It will be an early wake up call as the Explorers will play game two against the Lake Country DockHounds Tuesday morning with the first pitch set for 11:00 a.m. from Wisconsin Brewing Ballpark. Tickets for the season can be purchased online as 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.