Drury, Tokar Toss Gems in Explorers Split
By Austin Thomas, Sioux City Explorers
KANSAS CITY, Kan.— The Sioux City Explorers (18-21) took one of two games against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks (24-13) in a doubleheader Saturday night. The RedHawks took Game One 2-1 on a walk-off single from newly acquired Fargo catcher Zack Miller after X’s starter Austin Drury lost a no-hit bid in the last inning of the game. The X’s took revenge in the second game, not holding back on an offensive barrage that led to the 8-1 victory.
The X’s Delvin Zinn recorded the first hit of the night in the third inning of Game One with a leadoff single before advancing to second on a wild pitch. He crossed home on a Vince Fernandez RBI single to right field off Fargo two-way player Correlle Prime, making it a 1-0 Sioux City lead.
There wasn’t another hit by either team until the sixth inning when the Explorers Matt Lloyd ripped a two-out double in his first game back since playing for the Canadian national team. Sioux City’s Drury lost his no-hitter in the seventh and final inning of the game on a leadoff single by Fargo’s Leobaldo Pina to third base.
Kent Hasler (1-1) relieved Drury after the hit and walked RedHawks Correlle Prime before allowing a two-out single to Jack Hanson to load the bases. Hasler would strike out back-to-back batters before the climatic finish. Fargo’s Miller snatched the victory for the RedHawks with a walk-off single off Hasler, while reliever Tanner Riley (2-2) earned the win for the RedHawks.
Game Two started with a bang for the X’s as they loaded the bases of Fargo’s Garrett Alexander (0-1) behind a Chase Harris walk, Vince Fernandez single and an error by Redhawk Leobaldo Pina on a grounder off the bat of John Nogowski. The Explorers Matt Lloyd then pulled a walk from Fargo’s Alexander, giving Sioux City a 1-0 lead. Daniel Perez grounded into a double play off Alexander, but X’s Fernandez made it home on the play, extending Sioux City’s lead to 2-0. Miguel Sierra added one more run to the Explorers lead, sending home Nogowski with an RBI single off Alexander making it 3-0.
Fargo responded in the second inning when Redhawk Alec Olund scored on a bases-loaded fielder’s choice from Andy Gravdahl off X’s starter Heitor Tokar (2-1), reducing the Sioux City lead to 3-1.
The X’s added another run in the fourth inning when Harris roped an Alexander pitch over the left field wall for a solo home run, bringing the advantage back to three and giving Sioux City a 4-1 lead.
Between the fifth and sixth, X’s Carlos Diaz struck out four of the six batters he faced after relieving Tokar to start the fifth. Leading off the seventh inning, X’s Matt Lloyd, Perez and Miguel Sierra each recorded singles off Fargo reliever Conor Maguire before Jake Sanford grounded out, sending Lloyd home and making the score 5-1. Wilfredo Gimenez followed with a three-run blast to left field, blowing the game open in Sioux City’s favor 8-1. Sean Rackoski finished the game for the X’s with a perfect seventh inning as the Explorers tied the series 1-1.
The Explorers starting pitcher duo of Drury and Tokar, combined for two earned runs in 10 innings Saturday night. That continues a road trip trend where the starters have now given up just 12 earned runs in 45 innings for a 2.40 ERA in eight games.
The Explorers wrap up their nine-game road trip with the final game of a three-game series against the first-place Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks Sunday at 1:05 pm. Sioux City returns 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.