Explorers Crushed by RedHawks, Davis
By Dan Vaughan, Jr., Sioux City Explorers
SIOUX CITY, Iowa – A ninth inning RBI single by Jake Ortega was the only thing preventing the Sioux City Explorers (47-43) from suffering their largest margin of defeat this season in a 13-1 loss to the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks (44-47) Friday night at Lewis and Clark Park. The 12-run deficit matched a 15-3 setback to Cleburne on May 30 for the Explorers.
The RedHawks, who are on their third stop, on a three city 10-game road trip, looked sharp after an all-night ride from Gary, Indiana. Fargo-Moorhead picked up a fielder’s choice RBI from Dillon Thomas scoring Alec Olund, who tripled to start the game off Jared Wetherbee (2-3). Wetherbee would work a scoreless second before the flood games would open for the RedHawks. The Fargos scored three runs in the third inning on three consecutive hits with one out. A fourth hit in the frame with two outs added another run as the visitors raced to a 5-0 lead off Wetherbee. The lefty would give up seven hits and five earned runs for the Explorers.
With a 5-0 lead, RedHawks starter Colten Davis (6-0) would go to work. The true rookie would hold Sioux City to no runs on two hits with eight strikeouts to get the win for Fargo-Moorhead. He would give up a one out single to Vince Fernandez in the bottom of the fourth, then retire the next 11 X’s in a row before exiting after seven. The Corsicana, Texas native has not allowed an earned run in his last three starts over 20 innings including 14 innings against the Explorers.
In the fourth inning Sioux City summoned Braunny Munoz into the game for Wetherbee. Munoz did not fare much better, surrendering four runs on four hits in the fourth inning to give the defending Miles Wolfe Cup Champions a 9-0 advantage. The RedHawks added two home runs in the contest. The first was a solo shot by Dillon Thomas in fifth and the second a two-run blast off the bat of Olund in the seventh to up the lead to 12-0. Fargo-Moorhead would add their final run in the seventh on a sac fly and sat at 13-0 as the teams went to the ninth. Sioux City would pick up an RBI single from Ortega scoring Matt Lloyd off reliever and former Explorer Brenden Heiss to make it a 13-1 final.
The RedHawks would tag Munoz with eight runs on eight hits over four innings. The 17 hits were one shy of a season high allowed by the Sioux City pitching staff. That high also came on May 30 at Cleburne. The loss for the X’s and the win for the Sioux Falls Canaries up the road at the “birdcage” over Lincoln, cut the Explorers lead to one game for second place in the American Association West Division.
The Explorers final homestand of the season continues Saturday night August 26 with game two of a three-game series against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks at 6:05 p.m. Tickets for the season can be purchased online as 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 with the pregame beginning 30 minutes prior to first pitch.