Sasser Slam Helps Explorers Roll to Victory, 9-1
Sioux Falls, SD – The Explorers scored six runs to finish off the ninth in the first game of the series, and picked up right where they left off in the first inning racing out of the gate with a six run first which powered their 9-1 win over the Sioux Falls Canaries.
Kyle Wren began the rally on the first pitch of the night with a base hit and was advanced to third on a Drew Stankiewicz double. A Nate Samson ground out scored Wren, and a Hazelbaker single scored Stankiewicz to put the X’s up 2-0. Two singles would load the bases for Adam Sasser. Sasser then drove a pitch the opposite way over the left field wall for his first professional grand slam setting up the X’s with a 6-0 lead at the end of the top of the first.
Adam Sasser has now hit all four of his home runs on the season against Sioux Falls and has driven in 20 RBI’s against the Birds in 13 games.
That was really all the X’s offense needed to supply Pete Tago (5-3) who was once again brilliant. Tago tossed six innings of one run ball, allowing only five hits and three walks while striking out nine in the contest.
Tago now in two starts against the Canaries, with both coming in Sioux Falls, has thrown a combined 13 innings, allowing only three runs, on ten hits, with 21 strikeouts.
Sioux Falls got their lone run of the ball game in the third as Brett Vertigan hit his first of a pair of doubles and scored on a base hit from Andrew Ely.
Sioux City added a pair in the fourth as with Wren aboard after a walk he would score from first on Stankiewicz’ second double of the ball game. Stankiewicz would then score on a Samson grounder to third which resulted in a throwing error and put the X’s up 8-1.
Jeremy Hazelbaker finished off the scoring for the night with his fourth homer of the season. The no doubt shot put the X’s up 9-1.
Alex Boshers (6-8) took the loss for Sioux Falls in a gutsy performance. He went the distance for his second complete game of the season with both of them resulting in losses. He allowed nine runs, eight earned, on 15 hits with seven strikeouts and a walk.
Tago retired the final six batters that he faced in the ball game. Joe Riley tossed two scoreless frames for the Explorers out of the pen and Juan Aguilera finished off the ball game with a scoreless ninth. The X’s tossed four no hit innings to finish off the win.
Sioux City will go for the sweep on Thursday as Sam Held (2-1, 4.26) takes the ball for the Explorers and will be faced by Mark Seyler (3-9, 7.16) for the Canaries. First pitch is at 7:05 pm for the final regular season game for the Canaries.
By Connor Ryan