Riley, Bullpen Combine as Explorers Blank Apollos
Sioux City, IA (June 29, 2021) – The Sioux City Explorers got back in the win column with a 3-0 shutout victory over the Houston Apollos.
The X’s ended up getting all of the offense that they would need in the third inning when LT Tolbert crushed his third home run of the season over the right field fence to put Sioux City on top 2-0.
The Explorers were once again treated to a great start from their rookie right hander Joe Riley (2-1). Riley, making just the fourth start of his career, tossed six shutout innings scattering six hits with one walk and one strikeout.
Riley was incredibly efficient in his start as he dealt a first pitch strike to the first twenty batters he faced. He only needed 68 pitches to navigate his way through his six innings with 50 of those being strikes.
Chase Harris tacked on another run on his own in the sixth. He singled to lead off the inning and then stole second. He was attempting to take third as well but was caught in a run down. However, he was able to keep it going long enough for Houston to commit an error. A ball errantly thrown into center field, allowed Harris to score on the play giving Sioux City a 3-0 lead.
The X’s bullpen would handle the game the rest of the way as Max Kuhns, Nate Gercken and Matt Pobereyko handled the Apollos lineup in the final three frames. After a lead off walk in the seventh, the trio combined to retire the final nine batters in order to finish the game.
Pobereyko earned his league leading twelfth save of the season as he struck out the side in the ninth.
The game was played in two hours and twenty-four minutes, making it the quickest nine inning game of the season for Sioux City.
The X’s and Apollos continue their tilt on Wednesday night with first pitch at 7:05. Explorers Rookie Jonah Smith (0-0, 0.00) makes his first career professional start. He will be countered with right hander Matt Cronin (1-3, 9.61) for Houston.
By Connor Ryan, Sioux City Explorers