Four Score for Tolbert, Harris in Explorers Victory
Sioux City, IA (July 4, 2021) – Another large crowd was on hand and was sent home happy as the Explorers offense provided some early fireworks and avoided the sweep on the Fourth of July with a 13-7 win over the Kane County Cougars.
Sioux City got the ball rolling early as LT Tolbert led off the game offensively with a double, he would score on a ground out to give the X’s a 1-0 lead. In the second inning, After a run had already scored on a bases loaded walk Jose Sermo, with two outs and the bases loaded, tripled to clear the bases and give Sioux City a 5-0 lead.
Kane County battled back however as they scored four times in the top of the third. Four straight hits including two RBI singles opened up the inning. And a two out, two run single off the bat of Mark Karaviotis pulled the Cougars to within a run at 5-4.
Sioux City however made it a theme of the night to quickly respond to Kane County rallies as they scored a pair in the bottom half of the third to up their lead to 7-4 thanks to an RBI single from Joseph Monge and a wild pitch that scored Chase Harris.
But yet again, the Cougars came back in the top of the fifth with a three run inning. Gavin LaValley, who has had a torrid week at the plate, hit his second home run of the series with a man aboard to pull the game back to a one run contest. Three straight two out singles, with the final one by Nick Zamarelli, let Kane County tie the game at seven. However the Cougars left the go ahead runs at second and third to end the frame.
The turning point in the ball game came immediately in the X’s half of the fifth inning as Sebastian Zawada hit a solo home run to lead off the frame and put Sioux City on top 8-7. The X’s added another pair of runs in the frame without a hit. Chase Harris worked himself around the bases after a walk with a stolen base and scoring on a wild pitch. And LT Tolbert scored after his two out walk after a throwing error by the Kane County third baseman giving Sioux City a lead again, 10-7.
Matt Quintana (2-0) earned the win for Sioux City as he tossed one and one-third innings of relief allowing one run on three hits while striking out two and walking none.
On the other end it was Tom Curtin (3-3) who took the loss for the Cougars as he went two and one-third innings, allowing three runs, two earned on just one hit but walked three and struck out two.
Sioux City added a run in the seventh on a Sermo base hit. Sermo had five RBI’s in the game, tying his season high from June 5th against the Lincoln Saltdogs.
Another two runs scored in the eighth on a Mitch Ghelfi two run double to give the game it’s final score of 13-7.
The X’s only out hit Kane County by one, eleven to ten, but actually gained most of their baserunners via the walk as they generated a season high 14 free passes.
With the win the X’s are able to avoid the sweep and improve to a record of 17-11 all time in franchise history on Independence Day.
Sioux City will have a day off on Monday and then hit the road for a seven games in six days road trip to Lincoln and Kansas which begins with a doubleheader in Lincoln on Tuesday with first pitch for game one set for 5 pm at Haymarket Park.
by Connor Ryan, Sioux City Explorers