Big Hits Keep Explorers on Pace for Post Season
Sioux City, IA - After a dramatic game the previous night the Sioux City Explorers got back to business as they opened a series with the Cleburne Railroaders and came away with a win 5-3.
Sioux City grabbed the lead right away in the first inning as Kyle Wren set the Explorers single season record with his 11th triple of the year. A record that had stood since 1996. Drew Stankiewicz immediately drove him in to make it 1-0 Sioux City.
It was a quiet first three innings until Cleburne would score all of their runs for the night in the fourth. They would end up loading the bases with one out but the X's would help out the Railroaders with a pair of bases loaded walks to give Cleburne a 2-1 lead. KC Huth hit a fly ball to deep centerfield to drive home a final run to make it 3-1.
Jeremy Hazelbaker collected his first three hit game as an Explorer and has a multi hit game in his last three straight contests. He cut the X's deficit in half with a solo bomb to right field.
Sioux City took the lead in the fifth for good as Dylan Kelly was hit by a pitch with one out in the inning. Wren then reached on a bunt single putting two men aboard. Stankiewicz drove home his second run of the ball game with a knock to right center tying the game 3-3. And Nate Samson beat out a double play to score Wren from third giving Sioux City a 4-3 lead.
Those runs would help earn Eric Karch (5-6) the win. Karch picked up his first win in four tries against the Railroaders and faced them for his third straight start. He tossed five and a third innings allowing three runs on six hits while walking four and striking out four.
On the other end, Jesus Sanchez (9-4) was dealt the loss as he allowed four runs on eight hits through six innings of work. He struck out seven while not allowing a single walk.
In fact the X's struck out 11 times without drawing a single walk. It was the first time this season they won a game while striking out ten times or more and not drawing a walk. The previous time was on May 26th in a 5-1 loss to the St. Paul Saints.
Sioux City's bullpen took over with the lead and would not give it back. Tyler Fallwell recorded four strikeouts in an inning and two thirds and Nate Gercken tossed a scoreless eighth for the X's.
Sioux City added an insurance run in the seventh as Stankiewicz collected his third hit of the game with two outs in the inning. Stankiewicz went 3-4 with two RBI's, and a run. Samson chased him home with the second triple of the game.
It was Sioux City's fourth multi-triple game of the season and the X's have won all four games.
Matt Pobereyko was called upon in the ninth to secure the victory. He notched his 24th save of the season as after walking the lead off batter he struck out the side in order to tie the saves record for a single season as Brett Reid collected 24 saves in 2008.
Sioux City was able get to within three and a half games of Cleburne for the Division lead. They also kept pace with the Kansas City T-Bones who swept a double header from the Lincoln Saltdogs to tie the X's in the wild card.
The X's continue their series with Cleburne on Thursday as Taylor Jordan gets the ball for Sioux City and he will face Charlie Gillies of the Railroaders. First pitch is set for 7:12 pm.
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