Sermo, Explorers Slug Way Past Saltdogs, 13-8
Lincoln, NE – The first pitch temperature was 99 degrees with a heat index of 109 in Lincoln when the Explorers took on the Lincoln Saltdogs on Friday. And the X’s were as hot as the weather as they beat Lincoln by a final score of 13-8.
Sioux City and Lincoln traded runs in the second inning for a tie game 1-1 when it went to the third and that’s when Sioux City struck for 12 unanswered runs in three innings.
Jose Sermo lead the way offensively for Sioux City collecting three hits and five RBI’s in the contest. The big hit for Sermo came in the fifth on a two out grand slam, the fourth grand slam Sermo has hit while wearing an Explorers uniform. He also drove in a run in the third with an RBI single and had a double in his final at bat, ending up just a triple short of the cycle on the night.
Not to be outdone Sebastian Zawada reached base four times in the game going 2-4 with his fourth home run of the season and collecting three RBI’s in the ball game.
Sioux City scored three times in the third and fourth innings and brought home six runs in the fifth on just two hits but four walks giving the X’s a 13-1 lead over the Saltdogs.
The Explorers scored seven of their thirteen runs with two outs in the inning.
Every member of the Explorers starting lineup had a hit and a run scored the ball game. Four starters scored multiple runs And in the last three games played between the X’s and Saltdogs the Explorers have outscored their rivals 31-11.
Just as good for Sioux City was their starting pitcher Jason Garcia. Garcia (8-1) picked up his league leading eighth win of the season as he went seven innings, allowing six runs on five hits striking out five. Garcia tossed 119 pitches in the game in a gutsy attempt to save the Explorers bullpen that had been used heavily the previous night.
Lincoln would fight back in the game after trailing 13-1 scoring seven unanswered runs but it never felt like the victory was in jeopardy for the Explorers. Lincoln’s offense was powered by three home runs from the heart of their order. Cody Regis hit his 11th of the season, a two run shot in the sixth. And Curt Smith and Randolph Oduber both added solo dingers.
With the win and a Kansas City T-Bones loss the Explorers now move into first place in the American Association South Division.
Game two of the series will be Saturday night with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 pm from Haymarket Park. Veteran John Brownell will be on the hill for the Saltdogs, facing Carlos Sierra for the Explorers.
By Connor Ryan