Explorers Bats Silenced in 4-0 Loss to Saints
Sioux City, IA – After two straight dramatic wins for the Explorers, the St. Paul Saints had, had enough as they blank Sioux City 4-0 giving up only two hits in the ball game and avoiding the sweep.
Sebastian Zawada was the most productive member of the Explorers offense collecting Sioux City’s only two hits of the ball game. His single with an out in the fourth was the first hit of the contest for the X’s and he lead off the eighth with a double for the second and final hit for the Explorers. The two hits tied a season low for the X’s, as they were two hit by the Lincoln Saltdogs on August 1st in a 3-0 loss to Lincoln in the finale of that series as well.
Other than that the X’s never had a base runner touch third, and had only two reach second. They were able to draw four walks but struck out 10 times. It was the 12th time the X’s reached double digits in strikeouts, and the first time since July 17th, and are now 4-8 when they hit double digit punch outs.
Leading the way for St. Paul was their starting pitcher Ryan Zimmerman (5-3). The league’s Pitcher of the Month for July lived up to the billing as he tossed five scoreless, one hit innings. Allowing just three walks and striking out four, earning him the win.
St. Paul’s bullpen was equally as effective as Karch Kowalczyk tossed two perfect innings and Tanner Kiest, just added via trade from the Milwaukee Milkmen, earned a five out save for the Saints, striking out the side in the ninth.
The Saints did most of their damage in the second inning. It was four straight hits to lead off the second. Jeremy Martinez lead off with a single followed by a Josh Allen double to put runners at second and third with no outs. Chesney Young drove home both of them with a base hit to left and make it 2-0 Saints. He would advance to third on a single and score on a double play hit into by Joey Wong making it 3-0 St. Paul.
All the damage was done to X’s starter Pete Tago (2-2). Tago took the loss but still earned the quality save. He never put together a perfect 1-2-3 inning but he was able to limit the damage through six innings, giving up just those three second inning runs, on six hits with four strikeouts and a trio of walks.
St. Paul added another run in the eighth as Allen reached on a fielding error by Jose Sermo, stole second and scored on a Chesney Young base hit to make it 4-0. Young finished the night by going 3-3, with 3 RBI’s a run scored and a walk.
Sioux City now shifts their focus to a big series this weekend as the Cleburne Railroaders make their first visit of the season. Cleburne comes in a single game ahead of the Explorers in the South Division standings with both teams as of the moment holding the two playoff spots in the division.
First pitch for game one of the series will be at 7:12 pm on Friday.
By Connor Ryan