Sierra Walk-Off Single Spurs Explorers
By Austin Thomas, Sioux City Explorers
SIOUX CITY, Iowa – The Sioux City Explorers (44-38) came back for an 8-7 win over the Winnipeg Goldeyes (34-48) on Wednesday night thanks to a walk-off hit from Miguel Sierra. The Explorers have now taken back-to-back games against the Goldeyes and give themselves a chance for the series sweep Thursday night. The win also puts the X’s just 3.5 games back of the Kansas City Monarchs for first place in the West Division with a series against them still awaiting near the end of the season.
The X’s started off hot thanks to Scott Ota’s leadoff homer off Goldeyes starter RJ Martinez, giving the Explorers a quick 1-0 lead. Sioux City’s Matt Lloyd immediately followed with a double and ran home on Kyle Kasser’s two-out single, extending the lead to 2-0.
The X’s stayed hot in the second as they made a two-out rally starting with Explorers Daniel Perez reaching on a two-out error from Winnipeg third baseman Dayson Croes. Sioux City’s Scott Ota followed with an RBI double, extending the lead to 3-0 before Matt Lloyd sent Ota home with an RBI single, making it a 4-0 game.
The Goldeyes snatched the momentum in the third putting up three runs starting with a bases-loaded wild pitch from Explorers starter Heitor Tokar, cutting the lead to 4-1. Winnipeg’s Hidekel Gonzalez followed with a two-RBI single, making it a 4-3 game before the inning ended.
The Goldeyes continued to hold the momentum in the fourth inning, adding three more to the scoreboard with Winnipeg’s Max Murphy ripping a go-ahead, three-run bomb off X’s reliever Franklin Dacosta, which gave the Goldeyes a 6-4 lead.
Winnipeg continued to swing the bat well in the fifth, adding one more run on a Dayson Croes sac fly which sent home Najee Gaskins and extended the Goldeyes lead to 7-4.
The Explorers started to take back some of the momentum in the bottom of the fifth when Sioux City’s Kyle Kasser knocked an RBI single off Winnipeg’s Martinez, sending home Tyler Rando and cutting the deficit to 7-5.
After a scoreless top of the sixth, the Explorers Lloyd helped out the offense with a game-tying two-run opposite field dinger off Goldeyes reliever Josh Vincent, knotting the ballgame 7-7.
The bullpens picked it up the next few innings, with neither team advancing a runner past second until the ninth inning when the Explorers stepped up to bat with a tie game. Sioux City’s Tyler Rando led things off with a hit-by-pitch before Delvin Zinn pinch-ran for him. After a Vince Fernandez pop out, Kyle Kasser knocked a one-out single to right field, putting Zinn on third. With the winning run on third base, Miguel Sierra knocked a first-pitch single to left field off Winnipeg’s Chas Cywin (1-3), sending home Zinn and giving the Explorers the walk-off win.
The Explorers will wrap up the three game series against the Winnipeg Goldeyes Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. with the gates opening at 6:00 p.m. Tickets for the season can be purchased online as XSBaseball.com, in person at the Lewis and Clark Park Box Office or by calling 712-277-WINS. You can catch all the X’s action on aabaseball.tv and on radio at KSCJ 94.9 FM and 1360 AM with the pregame beginning 30 minutes prior to first pitch.