Explorers Comeback Falls Short in Fargo
by Connor Ryan, Sioux City Explorers
Fargo, ND (July 28th, 2022) – Once again the Sioux City Explorers entered the late stages of the contest trailing, only to come back and make things interesting. But today the comeback bid fell short as the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks held on to a 6-5 win to avoid a sweep.
Fargo jumped out to an early lead scoring multiple times in the first on back to back RBI singles from Rymer Liriano and Ben Livorsi to give the Hawks a 2-0 lead.
After a lead off walk to Nick Novak to start the bottom of the second, Evan Alexander hit a hard ground ball to second. The grounder kicked off the glove of X’s second baseman Zack Kone and ricocheted up the right field line. Novak took advantage of the error to score all the way from first and Alexander ended up at third at the end of the play and Fargo leading 4-0.
Leobaldo Pina scored Alexander from third with a sacrifice fly to left and Liriano added another RBI single to give Fargo a 5-0 lead at the end of the second inning.
Taking the loss in his professional debut for the X’s was Ma’Khail Hilliard (0-1) as the former LSU Tiger went two and two-thirds innings allowing five runs with two being earned. He surrendered four hits and walked six.
Kevin Lenik replaced him for Sioux City and pitched well in long relief. He covered three and one third innings without allowing a run, giving up only one hit with two strikeouts and two walks.
Sioux City claimed a run in the sixth, three consecutive singles were capped off by Danry Vasquez who brought home Blake Tiberi making it 5-1 Fargo.
The RedHawks picked up what eventually became an important insurance run in the seventh with Sam Dexter hitting a sacrifice fly to score Liriano putting Fargo ahead 6-1.
Trailing again heading into the eighth the X’s do what apparently they do best, they come back. Sebastian Zawada poked a three-run home run down the right field line to get the deficit to within two 6-4.
That spelled the end of the day for RedHawks pitcher Peyton Wigginton (5-3) who picked up the win. He dazzled through seven and one-third innings allowing four runs, while scattering eight hits with four walks and three strikeouts.
Joe Jones (2) took the ball for Fargo and picked up the final five outs of the game to notch the save. He escaped the eighth stranding the tying run at first. And gave up a run in the ninth with Danny Amaral reaching via a walk and scoring on a wild pitch. But Jones stranded the tying run at first in the ninth as well as Fargo salvaged a game from the three game series.
Sioux City ends their longest road trip of the season with a 6-5 record. They will return home for a brief home stand which consists of a three game weekend series against the Chicago Dogs. Game one begins on Friday at Lewis and Clark Park with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 pm.