Rookie Shines in Debut and Bats Hot Again
Sioux City, IA - The Sioux City Explorers took three out of four games in the series from their division rivals, the Lincoln Saltdogs with a 9-2 win on Thursday night.
Sioux City had rookie Jonathan McKinney on the mound making his pro debut against the Saltdogs and the rookie was stellar for the X's in his first professional start. After allowing two runs to score in the first inning on back to back walks and then a Curt Smith single and a sacrifice fly from Cody Regis. The rookie settled in to a groove and kept the Saltdogs off the scoreboard for the rest of the night.
McKinney (0-1) went a total of six and two thirds innings allowing just the two runs on only three hits while striking out two and working around six walks. At one point McKinney set down nine straight batters and didn't allow a hit from the second to the seventh.
He got all the run support needed from the X's bats who were hot for a second straight night. Kyle Wren lead off the first inning with a home run to cut the Saltdogs only lead of the night to 2-1. With two on and two out for the second straight game Dexture McCall singled to right field to bring home two runs and the X's lead 3-2.
In the second Dylan Kelly lead off with a walk, and Kyle Wren tripled him home. Wren would score on a Nate Samson single and it was 5-2 Sioux City. Another run in the third on a base hit by Dylan Kelly made it 6-2 Sioux City.
The X's were lead offensively in the game by Nate Samson who had a four hit night including a triple, two doubles and two runs batted in. He was just a home run shy of the cycle. And Kyle Wren who had a three hit, two RBI and two run performance and he finished just a double shy of the cycle.
Sioux City added two more runs in the sixth with back to back doubles from Michael Lang and Samson and a run scoring single by Drew Stankiewicz, his third hit of the night to make it 8-2. And a double by Samson in the eighth allowed him to score on a sacrifice fly by Adam Sasser to make it 9-2 X's.
After the first two games of the series were tight contests that saw a combined score of 4-4, the final two were dominated by Sioux City who outscored Lincoln 18-3 and outhit the Saltdogs, 32-10.
Sioux City will now hit the road for the start of a seven game road trip featuring four games in Cleburne against the Railroaders and three against the Kansas City T-Bones.
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