Bullpen Shuts Down T-Bones as X's Win
Kansas City, KS - The Explorers bullpen shut down the T-Bones for the last 3 2/3rds innings to seal the win for Sioux City.
The Explorers got things started in the first inning when Nate Samson went deep over the left field wall his second of the year to give Sioux City the 1-0 lead.
Kansas City would answer back though as Todd Cunningham doubled to left field and then scored on a Zach Waltrers base hit to tie the game 1-1.
Kansas City would score again in the second when Keith Curcio hit his third home run of the season, a two run shot over the right field wall to give the T-Bones a 3-1 lead in the second.
But Sioux City answered right back with two runs of their own in the third. David Kerian lead off with a walk and and Luis Durango followed up with a bunt single. They both advanced on a wild pitch to put runners at second and third with no one out. Michael Lang and Nate Samson both drove them in with ground outs to the short stop and tied the game 3-3 after three innings.
The X's would strike again in the fifth scoring three times. Dylan Kelly began the inning with a single, Durango singled and Lang picked up an infield base hit. The bases were then loaded with only one out for Nate Samson who lifted a base hit into right field to score two. Samson finished with 4 RBI's on the night. Jose Sermo reached on a fielders choice to score Lang from third and give the X's a 6-3 lead.
But the lead was short lived as Kansas City stormed back in their half of the fifth. Cunningham doubled, Nick Torres singled, Walters drove in his second run of the game with a base hit and Cal Towey scored two more with a double down the right field line and tied the game 6-6.
That would be it for X's starter Justin Vernia who ended up with the no decision. He went 4.2 innings, allowing 6 runs on 11 hits, striking out 3 and walking 1.
Ryan Flores would replace him with one out in the bottom of the fifth and that would begin the dominance for the Explorers bullpen. Flores (2-0) earned the win tonight by going 2.2 perfect innings, retiring all eight T-Bones that he faced.
The X's would score again in the seventh to take the lead for good, after Durango singled and Lang drove him in with a double gaining his second RBI of the night and making it 7-6. Sioux City would also score in the eighth when Daniel Jackson drove in a run to make it 8-6 Sioux City.
That's all the bullpen would need as Parker Markel recorded a perfect eighth. Patrick Schuster would pick up 2 of the outs in the bottom of the ninth and Eric Karch (3) struck out the final batter of the game to pick up the save and seal the win for Sioux City.
The bullpen pitched the final 3.2 innings of the ballgame allowing only one base runner to reach, retiring 14 of the 15 T-Bones that they faced.
With the win Sioux City improves to 19-5 on the year. The X's and T-Bones will play game two from Kansas City on Tuesday with first pitch scheduled for 7:05.
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