Early Deficit Too Much for Explorers to Overcome
Sioux City, IA (June 27, 2021) – The Cleburne Railroaders raced out to an early 6-0 lead on Sunday afternoon, the Sioux City Explorers battled back to close the gap in the late innings but the comeback bid fell short as Cleburne took the rubber game 6-4.
The Railroaders used a three run home run off the bat of Chase Simpson in the top of the first to generate a quick 3-0 lead.
In the second it was a Osvaldo Martinez double that scored a run to extend the lead and Martinez then scored on a sacrifice fly to right to make it 5-0.
Cleburne finished their scoring for the day in the third as Hunter Clanin scored on a John Nester single into center field giving the Railroaders a 6-0 lead at the end of the third.
All six runs were charged to Zach Hedges (4-2) who also allowed nine hits in five innings of work while walking and striking out three.
Sioux City began the comeback in the fifth as Mitch Ghelfi whacked his first home run of the season, going the opposite way to make it a 6-1 ball game.
A Sebastian Zawada two out single in the sixth plated a run, and on the same play Lane Milligan scored all the way from first after Zach Nehrir bobbled the hit in left-center trimming the Cleburne lead down to 6-3.
Austin Fairchild (2-3) picked up the victory as he allowed three runs, two earned on six hits, walking three while striking out six.
The Explorers best chance to finish off the comeback came in the seventh as they loaded the bases with one out. Nate Samson reached and brought home a run on an error by Simpson at third to make it 6-4 and move the tying run into scoring position. But Natanial Rodriguez got Cleburne out of the bases loaded jam with a strikeout and a ground out finishing off the Sioux City threat.
By the end of the ball game Sioux City outhit Cleburne eleven to nine, but both teams stranded ten runners.
Kyle Chavez (4) delivered the save after plunking the lead off man in the ninth, he immediately got a double play and a fly ball to end the game.
Sioux City will take an off day on Monday before opening up a three game series with the Houston Apollos on Tuesday at 7:05 pm.
By Connor Ryan, Sioux City Explores