Wichita Leaves X's Stranded in Series Opener
Sioux City, IA - The Sioux City Explorers fell to the Wichita Wingnuts in the first game of the three game series by a score of 6-2.
Wichita got on the board in the second inning as Angel Reyes homered, his solo shot was his 14th homer of the season and gave Wichita a 1-0 lead.
The Explorers threatened early and often but were never able to push any runs across. They would get a runner into scoring position in each of the first five innings they came up to bat but were only able to come away with two runs. Wichita even took runs away from them as Jay Baum hit a drive to deep left field with two outs in the inning but Nick Rotola went up and over the wall to rob Baum of what would have been a game tying 2-run home run.
Wichita added their second run of the game in the third as Leo Vargas doubled with one out and then was immediately chased in by a Logan Watkins RBI single making it 2-0.
In the fourth Wichita would tack on three runs. It started harmlessly enough as Angel Reyes would reach on a lead off single but the next two men would be retired. Nick Rotola would hit a ground ball to third which seemed like it would end the inning but Blake Schmit was unable to handle the grounder and Rotola reached. Vargas then scored Reyes on a base hit, followed by a Watkins RBI single and a Zach Nehrir infield hit plating three runs in total after the 2-out error making it 5-0 Wichita.
Sioux City would get a run back in their half of the fourth as Blake Schmit doubled to lead off the inning and would score on a Dylan Kelly RBI single making it 5-1. Though Kelly would be the only Explorer batter to collect an RBI in the ball game.
Sioux City scored again in the fifth. They would load the bases with only one out. Nate Samson scored on a wild pitch to cut the deficit to 5-2 but once again Sioux City looking for a big hit never got it.
Ian McKinney (1-2) would take the loss for Sioux City tonight making his fourth start for the X's he went 5.1 innings, allowing 6 total runs through only 3 were earned. He struck out 8 batters and didn't walk anyone.
Wichita scored again in the sixth as John Nester lead off the inning with a single, but once again it was two out hits that did the X's in. Logan Watkins was hit by a pitch and Nehrir would collect his second hit and second RBI of the contest to make it 6-2.
In the ninth Sioux City would load the bases with only one out, but yet again needing that big hit were unable to score. They loaded them up against Austin Boyle but Daniel Tillman would retire the last hitter to record his 20th save of the year and Sioux City would leave the bases loaded to end the ball game.
The X's would end up stranding 13 runners total in the ball game tonight and were 2-15 (.133) with runners in scoring position in the ball game. Though Sioux City hits at an extremely high clip of .348 this season with runners in scoring position. Sioux City left a season high 16 men stranded in the series finale win against Texas the game before and tonight's thirteen was the second highest total.
The X's will take on the Wingnuts in game two of the series and attempt to even things up as Wichita sends Travis Banwart to the mound against Luis Mateo for the Explorers.
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