Dre Gleason Drives in Four as Explorers Hang on for 9-7 Win
The Sioux City Explorers suffered a very disappointing loss Wednesday night, falling in the 14th inning on a walk-off home run, and it would be understandable if they entered Thursday night’s contest a little fatigued and disillusioned, but that’s not what anyone expects out of a team managed by Steve Montgomery. These Explorers battle each and every night, and that was the case on this evening, as Sioux City used three different innings where they scored three runs on their way to a 9-7 victory over the St. Paul Saints. Dre Gleason had the big stick on the evening, rapping out 4-hits and driving in 4, and Ryan Flores earned the victory with four solid innings in relief.
The Explorers took the lead right away against Saints starter Matt Schuld. Tony Campana and Joe Bennie led off off with back-to-back singles to get the game started, and Jayce Ray followed by hitting into a fielder’s choice that put runners at the corners. After Tyler Ogle walked to load the bases, LeVon Washington singled to score both Ray and Campana. A base hit by Michael Lang brought home Ogle to make it 3-0.
In the bottom of the second, St. Paul cut their deficit two. Cody Forsythe gave up a double to Nate Hanson to start the inning and Ben Buerkle brought him home with a base hit two batters later. That made it 3-1.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Saints made this a one run game. Anthony Gallas lead off the inning and, on a 2-1 pitch, he clubbed his 16th homer of the season to make it 3-2.
Clinging to a one run lead, Sioux City added three more runs in the fifth to extend their lead to four. Bennie led off the inning with his second home run of the season. Schuld retired the next two hitters, but walked Washington and Joel Davis to keep the inning alive. A single by Lang loaded the bases before Dre Gleason singled into right-center, scoring two runs to extend the lead to four.
The Saints responded right away in the bottom half the inning, plating three runs of their own. A base hit by Jack Goihl got the inning started, but Forsythe was able to retire the next two hitters and it looked like the leadoff hit would go for naught. However, last night’s hero, Kes Carter, singled up the middle before Brady Shoemaker walked to load the bases. Gallas followed by drying a walk, driving home Goihl and Hanson was then hit by a pitch to plate Carter. That brought a call to the bullpen as Ryan Flores came on. He would finally end the inning, but not before hitting Mitch Delfino to drive home the third run of the inning and make this a one run game once again.
In the top of the seventh, the Sioux City Explorers extended their lead back to four. Washington singled to start the inning, and stole second before Lang walked. Both runners moved up on the double steal, and both scored when Gleason drilled a double to the wall to make it 8-5. After walks to Tanner Vavra and Tony Campana, Bennie brought Gleason home with a sacrifice fly to make it a four-run lead.
In the ninth, St. Paul made this an interesting game. Shoemaker led off the inning by drilling his team-leading 17th home run of the season over the left-field fence to make this a three run game. Next up was Gallas, who hit his 17th home run of the season to make this a two run game. Flores retired the next two batters, and Hobbs Johnson was brought in to retire Buerkle to end the game.
Ryan Flores (3-2) pitched 4-innings, allowing 3-hits and 2-run, while striking out 6. Hobbs Johnson earned his second save. Dre Gleason finished 4-5 with a run and 4-RBI. LeVon Washington was 2-4 with 2-runs and 2-RBI and Joe Bennie was 2-3 with a run and 2-RBI. Brady Shoemaker led the Saints offense going 2-3 with 2-runs and an RBI. Anthony Gallas was 2-4 with 2-runs and 3-RBI.
These two teams now move to Sioux City where they will play the first of two games starting Friday night. The Saints send RHP Mark Hamburger (10-2, 3.11) to the mound against Explorers RHP Chris Powell (0-0, 5.40). First pitch is scheduled for 7:00.
By Robert Pannier