Sermo Blast Not Enough for Explorers to Overcome Early Deficit
Sioux City, IA (July 3, 2021) – The largest crowd this season at MercyOne Field at Lewis and Clark Park saw the Kane County Cougars put together two early rallies to beat the Sioux City Explorers 7-4.
The Cougars struck quickly in the top of the first inning as the first four men to the plate reached and scored. A Gavin LaValley RBI double opened up the scoring, and was quickly followed by a two run double by Kacy Clemens. Clemens scored a couple of batters later on a Mitch Reeves base hit to cap the rally and put Kane County up 4-0 before the X’s even had a chance to hit.
Sioux City did most of their damage offensively tonight in the bottom of the first. They matched Kane County in the bottom of the frame by having the first four men reach on singles. Jose Sermo got Sioux City on the board with a line drive to right field to make it a 4-1 game. Lane Milligan then scored later in the inning on a sacrifice fly to right field to cut the Cougars lead in half 4-2.
In the third, Kane County added to their lead as a two run double off the bat of Mark Karaviotis expanded the lead to 6-2. And a Nick Santoro single, brought Karaviotis home to make it a 7-2 ballgame.
Most of the damage was done to Explorers starter Patrick Ledet (4-1) who was handed the loss as he made first start since June 22nd. Ledet made it through two and one-third innings, allowing six runs all earned, on eight hits while walking one and striking out three.
Danny Hrbek followed him in relief, tossing a season high three innings, allowing one run on three hits. He struck out four.
On the other end for the Cougars, Ben Allison (2-0) making only his second start of the year cruised through the next three innings after the rocky first. Allowing only a trio of base runners on walks. Allison ended up with the win going five innings, allowing four runs on five hits, with four punch outs and three walks.
Before leaving the game, Allison gave up a two run home run to Jose Sermo in the fifth inning. The two run blast by Jose gave the game it’s final score of 7-4. The homer was Jose’s 15th of the year and his 50th as a Sioux City Explorer. He still remains third on the X’s all time career home run list and is now seven homers away from tying Nolan Lane’s franchise record of 57.
However for Sioux City the home run was only one of two hits they would muster in the final eight innings of the game as the Cougars bullpen shut them down. Mark Seyler finished off the dominating effort with a scoreless ninth, allowing a two out single before collecting his seventh save of the year.
The Explorers will try to avoid the three game sweep against the Cougars on Sunday with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 pm and once again there will be post game fireworks by Lantis Fireworks. Sioux City will turn the ball over to right handed rookie Joe Riley (2-1, 4.83) and he will be opposed by LHP Josh Tols (1-3, 5.26).
By Connor Ryan, Sioux City Explorers