Ghelfi Walk-Off Hit Highlights Explorers Double-Header Sweep
Sioux City, IA (8/29/21) — In the final games played at home in the 2021 regular season the Sioux City Explorers gave their fans plenty to cheer about as they swept the doubleheader from the Sioux Falls Canaries winning on a walk off in game one 4-3, and Jose Sermo setting the Explorers single season franchise record for home runs in game two in a 3-0 win.
Game One: SC 4 – SF 3
Mitch Ghelfi gave the X’s a big win with a walk off single in the bottom of the seventh inning giving Sioux City a 4-3 win over the Canaries.
Ghelfi also had an RBI double in the fifth to get the X’s rolling offensively. After falling behind 2-0 on a pair of second inning sacrifice fly balls, Ghelfi’s double with a man at first cut the Explorers deficit in half. Ghelfi scored on a double to left by Nick Franklin who was making his Sioux City debut. Franklin scored the go ahead run on a Jose Sermo two out base hit putting the X’s on top 3-2.
Sioux Falls tied the game in the top of the seventh on an Angelo Altavilla two out RBI double off of Brandon Brosher. By virtue of pitching the seventh Brosher (4-2) was given the win as he also collected two strikeouts in the inning.
Colby Wyatt (1-5) was given the loss, giving up the walk-off hit, after the winning run reached on an error and stole second.
Game Two: SC 3 – SF 0
Jose Sermo’s two run, sixth inning home run that gave the X’s a 3-0 margin they ended up winning with, set the franchise single season record for home runs with his 28th. The previous record of 27 homers had been held by Kevin Garner from the 1997 season.
Sioux City clung to a 1-0 lead after the end of the second inning after Sebastian Zawada hit a solo home run. It was Sioux City’s first home run in a week since they hit one the previous Sunday in Cleburne.
A large reason for the shutout victory was Patrick Ledet (8-6) who spun five shutout innings against the potent Sioux Falls lineup. He allowed a season low two hits while fanning seven and walking three in the win.
Taking the tough loss for the Canaries was Ty Culbreth (7-8) who almost matched Ledet’s effort with five innings of one run ball, surrendering only four hits with four strikeouts and a walk.
Sioux City was able to dance out of threats in the sixth with Tyler Koch struck out the final two batters of the inning with the tying run at third. And in the seventh where Brandon Brosher notched his fourth save of the year by stranding two on base to secure the win.
With the victories, Sioux City now ends up only a half game behind the Lincoln Saltdogs for third place and the second wild card game in the division and two games behind Cleburne for second place.
The doubleheader marks the final regular season home games for the 2021 regular season. The Explorers will have an off day on Monday before hitting the road to begin a three game series on Tuesday in Fargo, ND against the RedHawks at 7:02 pm.
By Connor Ryan, Sioux City Explorers