Explorers Rally Late to Down Cougars in Inaugural Meeting
Geneva, IL (June 14, 2021) – On Monday night the Sioux City Explorers and the Kane County Cougars met up for the first time ever and it was the X’s who emerged victorious with a 7-5 win.
After wasting a bases loaded, and one out opportunity in the top of first Sioux City took advantage of a bases loaded, two out, opportunity in the third. Sebastian Zawada drove in a run with a single and Joseph Monge worked a walk to bring home another making it 2-0.
Jose Sermo then in the fourth unloaded on a pitch with a man aboard for his now league leading eleventh home run of the season. The two run bomb made it a 4-0 game. The homer was also Sermo’s 46th as an Explorer, and moved him past Derek Kopacz for third place all time in X’s franchise history. He is now only 11 home runs away from Nolan Lane’s top mark of 57.
Kane County got a run back in the bottom of the fourth as they loaded the bases with no one out. But Zach Hedges was able to avoid a big rally, allowing a run to score on a double play, and then inducing a ground out to third.
However Kane County took advantage of bases loaded and nobody out in the fifth inning. After an error, a walk and a single in that order loaded the bases. A sac fly from Jeffrey Baez, and back to back doubles from Kacy Clemens and Gavin LaValley finished off the four run rally and put the Cougars up 5-4.
The fifth inning has been a rough one for the X’s on this road trip as they have now allowed opponents to score at least three runs or more in three of the four fifth innings on the trip. In total opponents have scored 13 runs in the fifth on the trip.
But the lead for Kane County was fleeting as it took Sioux City only two batters into the top of the sixth to tie it up. After a Chase Harris single, it was again Sermo who doubled to deep right-center field to tie the game at five. Sermo would eventually come home to score on a Chris Clare single to give Sioux City a 6-5 lead.
Thanks to the rally Zach Hedges (3-1) was able to earn the victory. Hedges went six innings allowing five runs, four of those being earned on eight hits, walking and striking out two.
The loss fell to Tom Curtin (3-2) who came into the game in relief. He allowed three runs in three innings on five hits.
The X’s added to their lead in the seventh as Mitch Ghelfi crushed a ground rule double to right center, he scored on a Chase Harris single pushing the lead to 7-5.
Sioux City’s bullpen kept the Cougars at bay until the eighth inning when Matt Pobereyko came in with two outs. Pobereyko was able to earn his league leading eighth save of the year as he struck out the final batter of the eighth and got a double play in the ninth to finish off the win.
Sioux City now improves to 15-10 through the first 25 games of the season. In game two of the four game series they will send righty Tyler Beardsley (4-1, 4.67) to the mound, he will be opposed by lefty Josh Tols (1-1, 5.33) with first pitch set for 6:30.
By Connor Ryan, Sioux City Explorers