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X's Hold on to Beat T-Bones, Win 20th

June 13, 2018 - American Association (AA) - Sioux City Explorers News Release

Kansas City, KS - The Sioux City Explorers endured a 5-run ninth inning rally from the Kansas City T-Bones to beat their division rivals by a score of 9-8 picking up their 20th win of the season.

Kansas City struck first in this ball game when Zach Walters doubled down the left field line with 2 outs to bring home Todd Cunningham and make it 1-0 T-Bones. They also scored again in the second when Dexter Kjerstad tripled on a ball that Michael Lang attempted to make a sliding catch and was un able to resulting in the ball rolling past him and Kjerstad into third with a triple. He then scored on a sacrifice fly by Tucker Pennell making it 2-0 T-Bones.

Sioux City responded though scoring five times in the third inning, with the first five men reaching. Dylan Kelly, David Kerian and Luis Durango all singled to load the bases for Sioux City with no one out. Michael Lang singled to drive home Kelly, and Nate Samson singled to drive in two runs bringing his league leading total up to 31 RBI's. After a Jose Sermo sacrifice bunt moved Lang and Samson to second and third, Jay Baum hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score Lang. As Lang crossed the plate the throw home from right field got away from the catcher Pennell and glanced off of Lang and rolled to the back stop. Samson took advantage of the play and scored from third on the error on the right fielder making it 5-2 Sioux City.

Kansas City responded in the fourth with a run though it could have been more. Cal Towey lead it off with a base hit, Adrian Nieto followed with a base knock and then Pennell walked, to load the bases for Kansas City with one out. Keith Curcio drove home Towey with a sacrifice fly to center field. Making it 5-3 Sioux City but a ground out by Dylan Tice ended the inning.

Sioux City tacked on a run in the fifth when Nate Samson singled and was driven home by a two out double by Jay Baum picking up his second RBI of the day and made it 6-3 Sioux City

The score would stay that way till the eighth which was enough for X's starter James Dykstra (5-0) to pick up the win. Dykstra today picked up the quality start by going 6 innings, allowing 3 runs on 5 hits, striking out and walking 3. Dykstra now leads the American Association with 5 wins on the year.

The Explorers would score three times in the eighth with four extra base hits. Jose Sermo ended a 0-19 skid by doubling down the left field line but he was then picked off of second base. Jay Baum tripled off the left field wall and scored on a Daniel Jackson double. Dylan Kelly then homered with two outs in the inning. Going opposite field over the left field wall for his first of the year and picking up his third hit of the day. The homer made it 9-3 Sioux City after eight innings and at the time felt like a comfortable lead.

Kansas City though would storm back in the ninth down by six runs to start the inning. Pennell lead off with a base hit off of X's reliever Ryan Horstman. Keith Curcio reached on an error by Jose Sermo his second of the ball game on what was a tailor made double play ball. Tice and Todd Cunningham then walked with the walk to Cunningham brought in a run. Eric Karch would take over for Horstman after the walk. Karch though allowed a two run double to Nick Torres. Making it 9-6 Sioux City but still no one out. Walters grounded out to second but another run scored for Kansas City. Cal Towey then walked and Adrian Nieto doubled down the right field line to score Torres making it 9-8 and put runners on second and third with only one out. With the tying run just ninety feet away and the winning run at second the X's elected to intentionally walk Dexter Kjerstad and face Pennell again with the bases loaded and one out. Karch then got Pennell to ground into the 6-4-3 game ending double play as the Explorers just barely held on to beat the T-Bones. Karch (4) earned the save.

With the win the X's have now tied the 2015 team for the quickest to 20 wins in a season in franchise history (26 Games) and are the first team in the American Association to that mark.

The X's and T-Bones will finish their four game series on Thursday at 7:05 with a pitching matchup of two former big leaguers, Taylor Jordan vs. Scott Carroll.

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