Clutch Pitching and Late Rally Leads X's to Win
Sioux City, IA - The Sioux City Explorers beat the Texas Airhogs 7-3 to win their ninth straight game.
The X's got off to a fast start again in this ball game as in the bottom of the first Luis Durango walked and stole second to start off the game. Michael Lang then smacked a 2-run home run over the left field wall for his first of the year giving the X's an early 2-0 lead. Sioux City has now scored 28 first inning runs through 22 games this season. The most of any other inning.
Texas would respond though in the third when Stewart Ijames drew a 2-out walk that at the time seemed harmless. But then Correlle Prime tripled to right center field to bring him home followed by a Dillon Thomas single to score Prime and tie the game 2-2.
Sioux City would answer back as they always do in the bottom of the fourth when Nate Samson singled to start the inning and stole second. He advanced to third on a Dexture McCall ground ball that turned into an error by the short stop. McCall then stole second and when Texas threw the ball down to second to try and catch McCall, Samson stole home to complete the double steal and give the X's a 3-2 lead.
That lead gave Taylor Jordan (4-0) the win as he went 5 innings, allowing 2 runs on 3 hits, striking out and walking 4. Jordan though would exit in the sixth after he loaded the bases with no one out by hitting a batter and walking two.
Patrick Schuster was then called in with the bags full of Airhogs and nobody out. He got the first batter to ground into a fielders choice to Baum at third who threw out the runner at the plate. Schuster then struck out the next batter for two outs in the inning. He then got the third batter he faced to ground a slow roller back towards the mound. Schuster charged the ball off the mound fielded it and flipped it to Dylan Kelly covering at home for the force out. Schuster was able to work out of the bases loaded with no one out and keep the X's in front 3-2.
Sioux City would break the game open in the eighth with a four run rally. Jay Austin would reach on an infield single, Nate Samson would then double to put runners at second and third. After a strikeout of Jose Sermo the Airhogs would intentionally walk Dexture McCall to set up the potential for an inning ending double play. But Jay Baum rifled one down the left field line to score two and make it 5-2 Sioux City. They weren't done there though as Dylan Kelly singled into right field to bring home Baum and McCall giving the X's a 7-2 lead after 8 innings.
Parker Markel (2) who started the eighth for the X's and then came in for the ninth to pick up the two inning save. He gave up a run in the ninth inning but the game was never in danger of slipping away.
The Explorers have now won nine straight games and will go for their third series sweep in a row on Sunday against the Texas Airhogs with first pitch being at 6:05.
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