Sermo Powers Explorers over Rival Monarchs, 7-6
Sioux City, IA (May 25, 2021) – The name, logo and jerseys might all be different but it’s still entertaining baseball when Sioux City and Kansas City meet up. In the season opening tilt between the two rivals, game one goes to the Explorers by a final tally of 7-6.
Over the last three seasons, the head to head record between the X’s and Kansas City has been 22-21 in favor of Sioux City. With the added intrigue of both teams eliminating the other in their last two post season appearances. It’s well known that a Sioux City-Kansas City affair has lots of stress but also entertainment. And while the jerseys now say Monarchs instead of T-Bones, that normal high drama played out again on Tuesday night in Sioux City.
Kansas City jumped out to an early first inning lead. After a double, Johnny Field was chased home by a Jan Hernandez single. Hernandez then scored on a Casey Gillaspie single to quickly make it 2-0 Monarchs.
Sioux City ended up answering back in the bottom of the second. A Jose Sermo lead off walk, turned into a de-facto lead off double after he stole second. Sebastian Zawada then chased him home with a true double. With two outs in the inning Michael Lang scored Zawada on a base hit to right tying the game. Lang went to third on a base hit, and scored on a wild pitch to put Sioux City up 3-2 at the end of two innings, oddly a lead they would never relinquish.
That was because X’s starting pitcher Tyler Beardsley (2-0) was dominant against the Monarchs lineup. After the Gillaspie single in the first Beardsley retired 11 straight Kansas City hitters. Including a stretch where he sat down seven in a row via strike out. Despite all the back and forth in the late innings, Beardsley was credited with the win as he went 6.1 innings, allowing three runs on six hits, walking none and striking out 12.
Sioux City added to their lead in the fourth as Mitch Ghelfi led off the frame with a walk. He advanced to second on what was one of four wild pitches for Monarchs starter, Nick Travieso. And then scored on a Lane Milligan single to right to give Sioux City a 4-2 lead.
Travieso (0-2) was handed the loss as he lasted four innings, allowing four runs on five hits, striking out four while walking five and with four wild pitches.
Jose Sermo padded Sioux City’s lead in the fifth as he took Robinson Martinez deep for his second home run of the season. The lead off solo bomb was his second of the season and in as many games, putting the X’s up 5-2. Sermo filled the stat sheet as he went 2-3 with a home run, three runs scored, an RBI and two stolen bases.
Kansas City began to climb back into the game in the seventh. After racking up his 12th punch out of the night on the lead off batter, Beardsley was pulled after giving up a double to Anibal Sierra. Sierra was immediately chased home by Ryan Gotjohn who doubled as well. Grotjohn then came home on a wild pitch to pull the Monarchs to within a run, 5-4.
Sioux City got those two runs immediately back in the bottom half of the inning. Sermo led off with a single and stolen base, and scored on a Joseph Monge single. After Mitch Ghelfi double that hugged the right field line. It was franchise hits leader Michael Lang who brought Monge home with a base hit making it 7-4 Sioux City.
Lang had a big night for extending his career record mark as he tallied a three hit night with 2 RBI, a run scored and a stolen base. Sioux City tied a season high with five swiped bags.
But the Monarchs refused to go away as in the eighth after a lead off walk it was usual Explorer killer, Gillaspie who launched a home run to right center to pull them to within a run 7-6. Then things got weird when the lights at the ballpark went out. What resulted was a 23 minute delay. After back to back singles after the light delay. Kansas City had the tying and go ahead runs on base. Sioux City turned to closer Matt Pobereyko to get them out of the jam.
Pobereyko (2) earned his second save of the year with one of the four out variety as he struck out the final batter in the eighth to preserve the lead. And then set down Kansas City in order in the ninth to nail down the win.
Sioux City now sits alone atop the American Association South Division with a 5-2 record through the first week of the season. They play the second game of a three game series with the Monarchs Wednesday night with first pitch set for 7:05 pm. The X’s send south paw Patrick Ledet (0-0, 0.00) to the mound for his second start of the season against righty Brian Glowicki (1-0, 3.60) for Kansas City.
By Connor Ryan