Koch Tosses No-Hitter, Explorers Sweep Double-Header
Sioux Falls, SD (September 4, 2021) – The Sioux City Explorers swept a doubleheader from the Sioux Falls Canaries winning game one 4-3 on the power of two LT Tolbert home runs. And took game two 8-0 as Tyler Koch pitched the first no hitter in Sioux City Explorers franchise history.
Game One: SC 4 – SF 3
LT Tolbert was able to break a pitchers duel in the fourth inning with a two run home run to give the Explorers a 2-0 lead. His homer was the first hit of the game for the X’s.
Sioux Falls would counter with a sacrifice fly from Zane Gurwitz to trim the lead in half 2-1.
The X’s scored two unanswered though with a two out double from Jose Sermo in the fifth that scored Michael Lang from first. And then a second home run off the bat of LT Tolbert, a solo shot to lead off the sixth to make it a 4-1 advantage.
It was Tolbert’s first multi-homer game of the season and the sixth of the year for the Explorers.
The loss fell to Ty Culbreth (7-9) who allowed four runs on seven hits in six innings of work. He struck out four and walked three.
In the seventh Sioux Falls made it interesting, scoring twice and getting the tying run to third and the winning run to second with two outs, but Brandon Brosher eventually tight roped out of the inning to earn his sixth save of the season.
Taking the win was Patrick Ledet (9-6) who allowed just a single run in his five innings, with just four hits, six strikeouts and no walks.
Game Two: SC 8 – SF 0
Rookie southpaw Tyler Koch (1-2) tossed the first no-hitter in Sioux City Explorers franchise history as he blanked the Canaries in the hit column and on the scoreboard for seven innings. He struck out eight and walked eight on 132 total pitches.
Koch’s only blemishes came on his walks which he only compiled two of in his first five innings on the mound, with both going to Canaries outfielder Cade Gotta. He got the usual highlight plays defensively behind him that one needs to complete a no hitter with Michael Lang making sliding catches in the fourth and fifth innings. And Jose Sermo with a leaping throw from foul territory at third base to gain the second out of the seventh inning.
It was completely unknown whether Koch was going to start the second game of the doubleheader as he was seen warming up to enter game one if needed. He was only announced as the starter as early as when the lineup card was made.
He also threw the no hitter with two different catchers, Mitch Ghelfi caught the first two innings of the game, but exited due to an injury at the start of the third. Lane Milligan then caught the rest of the contest.
He was helped by the X’s offense who scored early and often. Jumping out to a 6-0 lead in the first two innings. Errol Robinson was the biggest contributor on the offensive side of the ball as he finished the day going 3-3 with four RBI and a home run, his first as an Explorer.
Sioux City rapped out a hit in each inning except for one.
With the victories Sioux City takes over third place in the American Association South Division by virtue of a head to head tiebreaker from the idle Lincoln Saltdogs who will play a scheduled doubleheader on Sunday. They also moved just a game and a half back of Cleburne for second place.
The Explorers and Canaries will continue the five games in four days series on Sunday with first pitch scheduled for 2:05 pm. The Canaries will send right hander Joey Wagman (1-2, 4.32) to the mound, Sioux City has yet to announce a starter.
by Connor Ryan, Sioux City Explorers