Hedges Gem Spoiled by Cougars Late Surge
Sioux City, IA (July 2, 2021) – Despite out hitting Kane County ten to five, the Sioux City Explorers could not come up with hits when it mattered most and fell in the series opener to the Cougars in their first ever trip to Lewis and Clark Park, 5-2.
The Explorers in the first and second innings led off their at bats with extra base hits. A double in the first and a lead off triple in the second set up Sioux City for possible successful innings but each time they did not score, or advance the base runner.
The theme of the game became the Explorers inability to hit with runners in scoring position. In total they went 2-14 with a man at second or third and produced just the one RBI.
Kane County was able to score in the third as back to back singles led off the inning. A sacrifice bunt moved the two base runners to second and third and a sacrifice fly and a wild pitch produced a 2-0 lead.
Those two runs were the only ones that X’s starter Zach Hedges would surrender in what ended up being an excellent start. Hedges took a no decision as he went seven innings, allowing the two runs on only four hits, walking two and striking out three.
Sioux City eventually battled back in the fifth and sixth innings as Mitch Ghelfi led off the fifth with a double. He scored on a two out bloop single by Joe Sermo to cut the deficit in half. And then a no doubter off the bat of Sebastian Zawada tied the game at two a piece.
Cougars starter Tyler Viza also received a no decision as he went six innings, dancing around nine hits, allowing two runs and three walks and struck out five.
Explorers reliever Max Kuhns (3-1) was handed the loss as he walked the first two batters of the eighth inning, but then allowed a three run home run to Gavin LaValley who gave Kane County a 5-2 lead.
Kyle Huckaby picked up the win as he went one and one-third scoreless innings, walking just one.
Finishing off the game was Mark Seyler who picked up his sixth save with a scoreless ninth.
The series will continue on Saturday at 7:05 pm with postgame fireworks to follow by Lantis Fireworks. Both teams have yet to announce their starting pitchers for the contest.
By Connor Ryan, Sioux City Explorers