Samson, Zawada Spark Explorers Victory, 14-4
Sioux Falls, SD – The Sioux City Explorers once again had it all working on Tuesday night. Another great starting performance followed up with a big night offensively lead to their 14-4 demolition over the Sioux Falls Canaries.
The X’s got big time contributions from everyone in the lineup. All nine had either a run scored or RBI in the ball game, and all but one had an RBI. Six players had multi hit games with four of them collecting three hits. And it was the bottom third of the order who did the most damage as they collected eight hits, drove in five runs and scored four times.
The Explorers scored twice in the first inning on a single from Jeremy Hazelbaker that was followed by a triple from Jose Sermo.But the Canaries were able to cut the two run deficit in half getting a run home on a Clint Coulter single, but would leave the bases loaded and the X’s in front 2-1.
The Birds took a brief lead in the third with a two run, two out rally. Alay Lago doubled and was scored by Coulter again, who then was driven in on a double from Kevin Taylor giving Sioux Falls a 3-2 advantage.
But the lead was brief as Sebastian Zawada would crush his eleventh home run of the season in the top of the fourth. The two run shot gave Sioux City a 4-3 lead they would not let up.
Zawada on the game went 3-5, with a home run, a double and three RBI’s and a run scored.
Sioux City would tack on another run on a Kyle Wren double to make it 5-3 att he end of four.
Taylor Jordan (6-10) would make sure the X’s kept the lead. He tossed seven and two-thirds innings allowing four runs on eight hits while striking out six and walking one. And on a night when the wind was blowing out at the hitter friendly park his performance was desperately needed. At one point Jordan tossed three straight no hit innings.
Keaton Steele (3-9) allowed five runs in six innings of work, walking four and striking out four while surrendering eight hits as he took the loss.
Sioux City added a pair in the seventh and another run in the eighth to go up 8-3 and a Clint Coulter home run in the eighth to knock Jordan from the ball game made it 8-4.
The Explorers then erased any doubts in the ninth inning with a six run rally. Adam Sasser collected his third hit and second RBI of the game, continuing his assault on Canaries pitching. Sasser now has 16 of his 26 RBI’s on the season against Sioux Falls. Zawada would swat home his third RBI of the game. And Nate Samson finished off the rally with his sixth home run of the season. The homer was of the three run variety and made it 14-4 X’s.
Sioux City with the win was able to stay a game ahead of Kansas City who beat the Texas Airhogs to open their series with them. And the X’s gained a half game on the idle Cleburne Railroaders and now sit just a single game out of the division lead.
Sioux City and Sioux Falls do it again on Wednesday night at 7:05 pm as the Explorers send Pete Tago (4-3, 3.05) to the mound to face off against Alex Boshers (6-7, 5.74).
By Connor Ryan