Tiberi Leads Explorers in Split with Saltdogs
by Connor Ryan, Sioux City Explorers
Lincoln, NE (July 19th, 2022) – After the Lincoln Saltdogs took the first game of a doubleheader 7-4, the Sioux City Explorers exploded in the top of the sixth in game two to beat Lincoln 10-5.
Game One: Lincoln 7 – Sioux City 4
Sioux City reached the run column first when Zach Kone lined his first double of the campaign to right field, scoring Nate Samson to give Sioux City a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the third Lincoln took the lead on a two-run homer off the bat of Hunter Clanin to go up 2-1.
In the immediate half inning that followed, Blake Tiberi clobbered a homer of his own, the three run bomb gave Sioux City the lead back 4-2.
But Lincoln responded in kind in the bottom of the fourth. Welington Dotel cut the X’s lead down to one with a solo blast to right field. And a two out single from Drew Devine handed the lead back to the Saltdogs.
Patrick Ledet (2-3) was handed the loss as he allowed five runs on five hits through four innings with six strikeouts and a walk.
Picking up the win in relief was Matt Cronin (1-1) who went an inning and two-thirds scoreless, striking out one.
Lincoln padded their lead with a two run homer from Josh Altmann to take a 7-4 advantage. Steffon Moore (8) then slammed the door shut with a scoreless seventh.
Game Two: Sioux City 10 – Lincoln 5
In the second game, Blake Tiberi picked up where he left off from game one when he blasted a solo home run to right field to give Sioux City an early 1-0 lead.
Lincoln responded in the bottom of the first with a run scoring on a fielder’s choice and Garrett Delano giving the Saltdogs a 2-1 lead on a two out RBI single.
That is all the damage Lincoln could muster against X’s starter Blaine Hardy who received a no decision. Hardy went four frames allowing two runs on four hits with three strikeouts and a walk.
The game remained that way until the fourth when Ademar Rifaela connected on a two-run homer giving Sioux City the lead back 3-2.
The X’s then blew the doors off the ballgame in the top of the sixth by scoring a season high seven runs in the inning on seven hits with the first seven batters reaching safely. Tyler Rando doubled to lead off the frame, and a single from Nate Samson brought him home, to put Sioux City on top 4-2.
With the bases loaded and no one out, Zack Kone bounced one to short, the throw to the plate was high allowing two runs to score giving Sioux City a 6-2 lead on the error.
A Danny Amaral single plated a run and Tiberi continued his torrid day at the dish with a two run double down the left field line to give the X’s a 9-2 lead.
Between the two games, Tiberi was 4-8 with two homers, three runs, a double and six RBI.
Danry Vasquez capped off the rally with an RBI single to put Sioux City on top 10-2.
Gaining the win for the X’s was Max Kuhns (2-5) who tossed two scoreless innings of relief.
Taking the loss for Lincoln was Zach Keenan (3-3) who finished with a line of nine runs, eight earned across five innings on ten hits. Six of those runs scored in the final inning against him, as he entered the sixth with only three runs allowed through five frames.
The Saltdogs added three runs in the seventh to give the game its final tally of 10-5.
Sioux City and Lincoln meet for game four of the series on Wednesday night at 7:05 pm. The X’s send righty Kevin McCanna (5-3, 4.82) to the mound to face two way player Garrett Delano (2-2, 4.77).