Explorers Rally Falls Short in Extra-Inning Loss
By Austin Thomas, Sioux City Explorers
SIOUX CITY, Iowa –The Sioux City Explorers (32-31) fell in heartbreaking fashion to the Lincoln Saltdogs (32-29) Sunday night, losing 7-6 in 10 innings. It was the Explorers’ third loss in a row after taking the series opener against the Saltdogs. Lincoln now overtakes Sioux City in the West Division standings for sole possession of second place. Sioux City drops to fourth place in the division.
The game started as a pitchers’ duel with the Saltdogs scoring in the third inning when Lincoln’s Marshall Awtry hit a solo homer off X’s starter Solomon Bates, giving the 1-0 lead to the Saltdogs. The home run was the first hit of the ball game for the Saltdogs and would be the only hit Bates would allow in six innings.
The Explorers had a big fifth inning and tied it up when Sioux City’s Miguel Sierra scored on a Jake Sanford RBI single off Lincoln starter Zach Keenan, making it 1-1. Later in the inning, Scott Ota ripped his first homer as an Explorer over the left field wall for an opposite field shot off Saltdogs Keenan, giving Sioux City a 3-1 lead.
Lincoln got one back in the seventh when Saltdogs Nick Anderson scored on a Yanio Perez single off X’s reliever Brandon Brosher, cutting the Explorers lead to 3-2. Brosher had come in not allowing a run in his last 8.1 innings of work.
Lincoln tied it up in the eighth when Aaron Takacs scored on a Luke Roskam RBI single off Sioux City reliever Nate Gercken, making it a 3-3 game where the score would stay heading into the 10th.
In the 10th inning, the Saltdogs broke it open, starting with Lincoln automaton runner Aaron Takacs coming home on a Connor Panas RBI single off X’s reliever Sean Rackoski (4-4), giving the Saltdogs a 4-3 lead. Sioux City summoned reliever Francys Peguero into the game with runners at first and second to face Anderson. Anderson would greet Peguero with a two-run home run to take a 7-3 lead.
In the bottom of the frame, Sioux City extra inning runner Matt Lloyd came home after Kyle Kasser singled off Lincoln closer Carter Hope, cutting the deficit to 7-4. Explorers Jake Ortega followed that up with a homer of his own to make it a one-run game, but Hope locked it down from there on as the Saltdogs got the win.
The Explorers will be off on Monday July 24 and travel to Canada to face the Winnipeg Goldeyes at Shaw Park on Tuesday July 25 with a first pitch at 6:35 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.