Four-Run Frame Erases Explorers Lead, Dogs Win, 5-3
Rosemont, IL — Through the first ten games of the season, Sioux City was a very consistent team in driving in runners in scoring position. However on Sunday the X’s struggled in that department, helping lend a hand towards a 5-3 loss to the Chicago Dogs.
The afternoon looked to be trending in a much different direction in the top of the first as the Explorers were able to plate three runs. Jared Walker extended his league leading RBI total to 14 with a blooper to right field to plate a run. And with two on and two out it was. Sebastian Zawada who doubled off the right-center fence to score a pair and give Sioux City a 3-0 lead.
However the struggles for the X’s offense began immediately from there as they would not score for the remainder of the game. They left ten men stranded in total during the game and were 2-15 (.133) with runners in scoring position.
Sioux City left the bases loaded in the second, left a runner stranded at second in the third and in the fourth loaded the bases with only one out but on a Walker fly ball to left field, Chase Harris was thrown out at the plate attempting to tag and score by Dogs left fielder Brennan Metzger.
Chicago got on the board in the third as with two on and two out, Grant Kay lined a double into the right field corner scoring a run. A good throw from Michael Lang to the plate kept a second run from scoring and a strikeout ended the Chicago threat.
However the fourth inning was when the Dogs broke through to take the lead. After an easy ground out, the Dogs got three men to reach without a hit. X’s starter Tyler Beardsley hit a batter and walked back to back Dogs to load the bases with one out. Danny Mars was able to sneak a ground ball into centerfield to score two to tie the game. KC Hobson then doubled off the left field wall to give Chicago the lead 4-3.
The double knocked X’s starter Tyler Beardsley from the game. Beardsley (2-1) went 4.1 innings, allowing five runs on five hits, with four walks and six strikeouts. Beardsley had cruised through the first two innings, striking out three of the first six batters he faced. But ran into trouble in the third and fifth.
Part of the reason the X’s couldn’t get the offense going again was Chicago reliever Juan Echevaria (1-1) who earned the win in relief as he tossed 2.2 innings not allowing a run, on one hit.
Sioux City’s bullpen completely shut down the Dogs the rest of the way. As the combined efforts of Max Kuhns, Brandon Brosher and Jose Velez produced 3.2 innings of no hit baseball.
In the ninth trailing by two, the X’s mounted a rally off of Dogs closer Paul Schwendel as they were able to get runners at second and third with only one out in the inning. But Schwendel (4) worked out of the jam by striking out Lane Milligan and getting Walker to fly out to earn the save.
The X’s are now 7-5 on the year and continue their road trip with a three game series against the Milwaukee Milkmen. The three game set begins on Monday afternoon at 1:00.
By Connor Ryan