Harris Delivers Walk-Off Hit to Give Explorers Series Sweep
Sioux City, IA (June 20, 2021) – A hot day and heavy breeze lead to a lot of offense early for both sides on Sunday afternoon. And it was Chase Harris who ended the day as a hero in extras, hitting a walkoff single to propel the X’s to their third straight win 10-8 as they finished the sweep over the Lincoln Saltdogs.
The scoring started right away with both teams putting up three runs in the first inning. Lincoln’s three runs all came on a bases-clearing double off the bat of Edgar Corcino in the top half of the first. Sioux City quickly answered, though. LT Tolbert doubled to start things off, and that was quickly followed by a Chase Harris homer that found its way up into the stiff breeze and out of the park to right center. A Chris Clare single a few batters later plated the third run of the inning for the X’s to match the Saltdogs. The score stood at 3-3 after the first inning.
Starting pitchers didn’t last very long in the afternoon. Borkovich manned the bump for the Saltdogs for an inning and two-thirds and Brandon Brosher, usually a reliever, made it through two innings before his day’s end. Brosher struck out two and gave up three runs on three hits.
After Brosher threw up a zero in the top half of the second the X’s exploded for five runs to jump up to a 8-3 lead. The inning was highlighted by three straight hits to start, two of them being back-to-back doubles from Joe Monge and Mitch Ghelfi. After two innings, Sioux City held a comfortable five run lead, 8-3.
The Explorers weren’t allowed to coast as Lincoln clawed their way back into the game starting with a two run third inning. Edgar Corcino hit a two-run shot to get Lincoln back into it.
After a quiet fourth, the Saltdogs tied it up in the top of the fifth. It started with a single and a walk that led to a pitching change. Rookie Luke Jaksich was relieved in his first professional appearance by Danny Hrbek after going two and a third. A flurry of singles and walks and a big RBI double off the bat of Corcino left the game even in the top half of the inning. The fifth inning came to a close tied at 8-8.
Edgar Corcino finished the day for Lincoln with three hits, all for extra bases and six total RBI.
After the dust settled and the bats calmed down, the X’s and Saltdogs were in a stalemate locked at 8 from the sixth inning through the ninth. Both sides relied on their pen down the stretch and it wasn’t until the top of the tenth inning when the tie was broken by a Byrd single that scored Patrick Adams giving Lincoln a 9-8 lead in extra innings.
Sioux City responded in the bottom of the tenth. Chris Clare singled to start followed by Sebastian Zawada reaching first on an error when Lincoln first baseman Josh Altman lost the ball in the sun on the throw to first on a sacrifice bunt attempt. Joseph Monge then singled into right scoring Clare to tie it at nine. With a base open at first, Lincoln intentionally walked LT Tolbert loading the bases. And it was Chase Harris who roped a line drive into left field that scored Zawada securing the walk off win for the Explorers, 10-9.
Jose Velez (1-0) picked up the win as he finished off the tenth inning for Sioux City. And James Pugliese (0-1) took the loss after giving up the lead in the tenth.
The Explorers get a day off on Monday and will resume play against the Saltdogs once again on Tuesday night at 7:05 PM. This time the X’s will be playing in Lincoln for the three-game series.
By Connor Ryan, Sioux City Explorers