Sermo Homers Propel Explorers Past Saltdogs
Sioux City, IA (June 5, 2021) – The Explorers won the second game of their series with Lincoln on Saturday thanks to another big night from their bats. Some big swings combined with strategic small ball fueled Sioux City over Lincoln 9-6.
Forrestt Allday started the night off with a bang for the Saltdogs crushing a homer off the flagpoles in right-center in the top of the first inning giving Lincoln a 1-0 lead.
In the second inning the Saltdogs added a few more runs. Back-to-back singles followed by a sac fly from Gunnar Buhner plated the second run of the game. A Justin Byrd single pushed across another run and then a sac fly off the bat of Forrestt Allday pushed the inning run total to three for the Saltdogs. And for a second consecutive game, the Saltdogs led 4-0.
Sioux City responded with 1 run in the bottom half of the second when Nate Samson hit a single to center that scored Jose Sermo who walked and stole a base. After two innings, Sioux City trailed 4-1.
In the bottom of the fourth Sermo crushed a two-run shot to right to make it a one-run ball game. After Sermo’s bomb the X’s went small to tie it up. Nate Samson singled for his second hit of the game. Mitch Ghelfi then singled to put two runners on. In typical Explorer’s fashion, Chase Harris laid down a two out bunt for a hit down the third base line that scored Samson from third. The score was knotted up at four heading into the fifth inning.
An inning later Sermo one-upped himself with a no-doubt, three-run shot to right once again. Sebastian Zawada wanted in on the action with a solo bomb of his own. Going back-to-back with Sermo and expanded the Explorer’s lead making it 8-4 after five innings.
Tyler Beardsley (3-1) tossed five innings as the righty had as many strikeouts as hits given up with eight in each category. Through five innings he gave up four runs, three earned, and came away with the win.
Saltdogs starter Carson Lance (0-2) took the loss as he lasted 4.1 innings, surrendering six runs on five hits, walking and striking out four.
Lincoln didn’t fold as Allday collected his second hit and third RBI of the game with a double that scored leadoff hitter Justin Byrd in the sixth making the score 8-5.
Sioux City retook their four-run lead in the seventh. Jared Walker doubled to start the inning and scored on a Sebastian Zawada base hit.
From the sixth through the ninth, Manager Steve Montgomery gave the keys to the bullpen. Danny Hrbek pitched the sixth giving up a run and was followed by Max Kuhns who went one and a third blanking the Saltdogs. Kuhns was then replaced by Nate Gercken who came in with one out and the bases loaded. The big righty continued his string of dominant outings striking out back-to-back batters to end the inning and take the X’s to the ninth.
With the score still 9-5, Explorer’s closer Matt Pobereyko got the call out of the pen in the final frame. Pobereyko ended up allowing his first hit and run of the entire season when Ryan Long hit a solo home run to give the game its final score 9-6. Pobereyko had started the first 7.2 innings of the season without allowing a run, hit or a walk while striking out 13.
Sioux City will look to sweep the Saltdogs tomorrow afternoon with first pitch scheduled for 4:05 p.m. lefty Patrick Ledet (1-0, 4.20) will man the mound for his fourth start of the season for Sioux City. He will go up against Lincoln’s John Richy (1-1, 4.80).
By Connor Ryan, Sioux City Explorers