Tolbert, Clare Lead Explorers in Thrashing of Saltdogs
Sioux City, IA (June 4, 2021) – After a six game road trip the Sioux City Explorers were happy to be back home as they won their first game of the series against the Lincoln Saltdogs. on a hot night from Sioux City, 15-4.
Lincoln raced out to a quick lead as David Vidal smacked a home run giving the Saltdogs a 2-0 lead in the top of the second.
In the third a throwing error by Sioux City scored Justin Byrd and a Curt Smith bloop single to right field allowed Josh Altmann to score, giving Lincoln the 4-0 lead.
After leaving the bases loaded in each of the first two innings, the X’s were able to put together a five run two out rally. Chris Clare returned to the starting lineup after missing the last ten games and began his incredible night with a two run home run to left cutting the deficit in half. After a walk and a base hit, LT Tolbert cleared the bases with a double, tying the game at four. Tolbert scored after a hit batter and error loaded the bases, and Jared Walker worked a walk, giving the X’s the lead 5-4.
After a lead off to start off the fourth, Clare kept rolling with an RBI triple to right field to bring home Sebastian Zawada. Chris Harris hit a single to immediately plate Clare. After a swiped bag, Harris scored on a second Tolbert double to five Sioux City a 8-4 lead after four.
Sioux City plated four more in the fifth inning as Jose Sermo began the inning with a bloop triple, a play where the Saltdogs lost the high pop up in the lights, eventually leaving Sermo at third. Clare picked up his fourth RBI of the night with a base hit. He scored on a two run triple from Chase Harris as the X’s collected three triples in the game.
A Jose Sermo two run home run in the sixth, and a Mitch Ghelfi RBI double in the eighth capped off the scoring for Sioux City.
The X’s racked up a season high 21 hits. Leading the charge was Chris Clare who was 4-6, with a home run, a triple, four RBI and three runs scored. Chase Harris was also 4-6, with a triple, three RBI, three runs scored and a stolen base. Jose Sermo had a three hit night with a homer. LT Tolbert collected four RBI and three hits and Lane Milligan was 2-2 with three walks and was hit by a pitch. He reached base all six times he came to the plate but never scored.
Kyle Kinman (2-1) picked up the loss as he allowed eight hits, five runs with four walks and strikeouts in just three innings.
Zach Hedges (2-0) in his fourth start of the year earned the win as he went five innings, allowing three hits, four runs with five walks and five strikeouts.
Joe Riley (1) earned the save as he was the only arm out of the Explorers bullpen in the game. The rookie tossed four innings of shutout baseball, allowing just a pair of hits and walks while striking out six.
Sioux City improved their record to 10-5. The series will continue Saturday, with first pitch scheduled for 6:05 pm. The X’s will send Tyler Beardsley (2-1, 5.63) to the bump and the Saltdogs will start Carson Lance (0-1, 7.20).
By Connor Ryan, Sioux City Explorers