Clutch Hitting Leads X's to Season Opening Win
Sioux City, IA - The Sioux City Explorers began the 2019 season on the right note with a 6-2 victory over the Lincoln Saltdogs. The Explorers for the second consecutive season begin their season with a victory over their long time rivals.
The X's got their scoring started in the third inning, Nelson Ward doubled with two outs and stole third base. It was then up to rookie Daytona Bryden with two outs he collected his first professional hit and RBI with a single to left to bring home Ward and get the X's on the board 1-0.
The Explorers added onto their lead in the fourth, a pair of walks brought up another rookie, Luke Bonfield who hit a fly ball to left. With the wind blowing at MercyOne Field throughout the game, Saltdogs left fielder Randolph Oduber had a tough time judging the flight of the ball and before he realized he was out of position it was too late. Both runners would score and Bonfield had his first hit as a Sioux City Explorer which made it 3-0 X's.
Three runs is all X's starter Jason Garcia (1-0) would need. He was able scatter 8 hits over 5 2/3 innings, walking two and striking out 3 and picked up his first win of the season. He allowed just a single run in the sixth inning which knocked him out of the game and kept him from the quality start.
Sioux City doubled their lead in the fifth inning when again with two outs and two on Dean Green was the first Sioux City Explorer to go deep for the season. The three run blast doubled the X's lead and made it 6-0. Green also scored two runs and was responsible for four of the six runs scored in the ball game.
Shairon Martis (0-1) was responsible for all six runs the Explorers scored in the ball game as he lasted 5 innings, allowing 7 hits and walking and punching out 2 each.
All six runs for the Explorers were scored with two outs in an inning. Picking up right where they left off from the 2018 season when the X's as a team hit for a .307 average with runners in scoring position and two outs.
The Explorers bullpen was called on to shut down the Lincoln Saltdogs and were more than up to the task. Tyler Fallwell went 2 1/3 innings striking out two and allowing only two hits, one of them happened to be a solo home run by Tyler Moore in the eighth which gave the game it's final score of 6-2.
Jose Velez and Matt Pobereyko (1) combined to pitch the ninth with Pobereyko earning his first save of the season. The bullpen in all tossed the final 4 1/3 innings, allowed just 3 hits, 1 run, struck out 5 and didn't walk a batter.
The Explorers begin the season 1-0 and will take on the Lincoln Saltdogs again on Friday with first pitch scheduled for 7:12 pm with Sioux City sending out Max Duval to the mound to face the Dog's Nick Tepesch.
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