Dogs Early Surge Too Much for Explorers to Overcome
By Austin Thomas, Sioux City Explorers
SIOUX CITY, Iowa – The Sioux City Explorers (42-38) couldn’t claim game two of the series against the Chicago Dogs (41-38) Saturday night, falling 11-5. The Dogs scored nine runs between the first two innings, building a big lead early that left the X’s playing catch up the rest of the way.
Chicago opened the game with three straight walks before Dogs Josh Altmann launched a no-doubt grand slam off Sioux City starter Brenden Heiss (1-2), giving Chicago a quick 4-0 lead. Later in the inning, the Dogs put runners on the corners for Chicago’s Matt Bottcher, who then knocked an RBI single, making it 5-0. The inning ended with a grounder up the middle where X’s shortstop Miguel Sierra stepped on second for the force out before tagging Dogs Bottcher for out three, but it wasn’t before Chicago’s Jesus Lujano crossed the plate to make it a 6-0 Dogs lead.
Chicago added to the lead in the second when Dogs Altmann hit a sac fly before Bottcher knocked a bases-loaded two-RBI single, extending the Chicago lead to 9-0.
The X’s got one back in the second on Jake Ortega’s single, making it 9-1, but the Explorers didn’t score again until the sixth inning when Vince Fernandez got a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch from Chicago’s Bryan Warzek, making it 9-2. After that, Sioux City’s Matt Lloyd rushed home on a wild pitch from Warzek before Kyle Kasser knocked a sac fly to give the X’s some momentum by cutting the lead to 9-4.
The momentum was short-lived as the Dogs scored the next run of the game in the eighth inning on a Dylan Rosa sac fly, making it 10-4 Chicago.
The Explorers put one more on the board in the bottom of the frame on Jake Ortega’s sac fly, but the Dogs responded with one more of their own in the top of the ninth on a Payton Eeles RBI single off Explorers Sean Rackoski, making it 11-5.
Sioux City didn’t score in the bottom of the ninth as Chicago’s Joe Cavallaro finished the game for the Dogs to even the series 1-1.
The Explorers wrap up their series with the Chicago Dogs Sunday afternoon August 13 with the first pitch set for 4:05 p.m. 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 with the pregame beginning 30 minutes