X's Sweep Series and Season from Goldeyes
Winnipeg, MB - For the first time in franchise history the Sioux City Explorers sweep the season series from the Winnipeg Goldeyes.
Winnipeg has also never been swept for a season in their franchise history as they celebrate their 25th season in 2018.
The Explorers got the game off to a fast start as they were able to put a pair of runs on the board in the top of the first inning. Michael Lang and Nate Samson were both able to reach on back to back one out singles. After a strikeout Dean Green one of the newest additions to the Explorers came up with the two out single to drive in Lang and Samson and make it 2-0 Sioux City. Lang the league leader in runs scored was able to break a seven game run-less drought.
Jason Garcia making his first start for the Explorers was able to pick up the win and the quality start in the ball game. Garcia (1-0) went 6.1 innings, allowing 2 runs on 7 hits as he walked and struck out 2 in the game.
Garcia made only one mistake as he gave up a two run homer to Grant Heyman his 14th of the season in the fourth inning which tied the game up 2-2.
But Sioux City answered right back as they retook the lead in the next frame. Daniel Jackson lead off the top of the fifth with a base hit. A sacrifice bunt and a ground out moved him up to third and with two outs Nate Samson delivered a base hit to center field to give the X's the lead 3-2. It was part of Samson's three hit game, his tenth of the season which leads the team.
The Explorers would tack on some insurance runs in the eighth and ninth as both times they loaded the bases with one out or less. In the eighth it was bases loaded and one out when Dexture McCall came to the plate. He hit what looked like a routine double play ball but as Goldeyes short stop Andrew Sohn fielded it and went to pitch it to second but bobbled it and dropped it and could only make the out at first. It scored a run and Sioux City went up 4-2. Sioux City had the chance to add more but Daniel Jackson was robbed of a couple of RBI's on a line out to first and Goldeyes first baseman Josh Mazzola made a leaping catch to keep the score 4-2.
The Explorers bullpen was up to its usual dominant self with another 2.2 innings of shut out work. In total in the series the bullpen tossed 7.2 innings of shut out baseball. In total the Explorers used 5 pitchers out of the bullpen. With runners at first and second in the seventh they used Ryan Flores and Ryan Horstman to piece together the inning. Parker Markel got two outs in the eighth both on strikeouts. Patrick Schuster was then called upon to face pinch hitter Josh McAdams who hit a fly ball to deep right field with a runner on first and Michael Lang was able to make a leaping catch at the wall to rob McAdams of extra bases and keep it a 4-2 X's lead at the end of eight.
In the ninth Sioux City would once again load the bases this time with no one out. Durango, Lang and Samson reaching on singles. Lang also had a three hit day and between him and Samson went 6-10 in the game with three runs scored and an RBI. After a strikeout Dean Green would walk in a run for his third RBI of the ball game. Jay Baum then padded his league lead with a base hit to right field which scored Lang easily from third to make it 6-2 Sioux City but Samson was thrown out at home plate attempting to score on the play.
In the ninth Keith Picht would deliver a scoreless inning using a double play to end the ball game. It was the second straight game where the X's were able to turn three double plays and turned six total in the series.
The Explorers have now turned multiple double plays in a game 20 times this series and are 17-3 in those games.
The Explorers were able to move their magic number for a playoff berth down to three games as Wichita was swept by Chicago and their divisional magic number to seven as Kansas City was rained out.
The Explorers will now turn their attention to the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks as they begin a three game series with Fargo beginning on Monday with first pitch set for 7:02. The Explorers will send out James Dykstra for game one of the series.
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