X's Walk It off in Extra Inning Thriller
Sioux City, IA - It took twelve innings but the Sioux City Explorers were finally able to win game one of a four game series with the Lincoln Saltdogs in walk off fashion by a final score of 2-1.
Lincoln opened the contest with a run in the first inning, Randolph Oduber singled and Curt Smith doubled putting runners on second and third with just one out. A ground out by Cody Regis scored Oduber to make it 1-0 Lincoln. But that would be the final run they scored during the ball game.
Eric Karch was brilliant for a second straight start for Sioux City as he tossed seven innings of one run baseball, allowing just six hits and walking two while striking out a new season high nine in the contest.
Sioux City evened the score in the third when Dylan Kelly and Sebastian Zawada opened the frame with singles. After a sacrifice bunt and an infield single loaded the bases, Nate Samson drove home Kelly with a sacrifice fly to left field tying the game 1-1.
And that is how the game would stay the rest of the way. Kyle Kinman was also great for the Lincoln Saltdogs. Kinman tossed seven and a third of one run ball for the Saltdogs, surrendering just four hits, walking three and striking out five.
After Karch, Sioux City turned to the bullpen which was just as good as Karch. Nathan Gercken followed Karch's performance by tossing two shut out innings of his own, striking out four Saltdogs. He was set to come out for the tenth but would leave with an apparent injury before the inning began.
Tyler Fallwell was then called upon to replace Gercken. Fallwell ended up with the win for Sioux City and deservedly so. He went three innings, allowing only a single hit and struck out seven batters in that time. The Explorers tonight between Karch, Gercken and Fallwell struck out 20 batters in the game.
Sioux City had a golden chance to score in the eleventh inning when they loaded the bases with nobody out, but Austin Pettibone was able to escape the incredible jam and keep the game tied 1-1.
It was in the twelfth when the X's would finally break through. Samson lead off the inning with a single. And after a one out walk by Dexture McCall it was all left to Drew Stankiewicz. With Samson taking off on the pitch, Stankiewicz took a two strike offering and hit a line drive into left field. Samson scored easily on the play and the Explorers walked it off 2-1.
Sioux City now turns their attention to game two of the series against the Saltdogs. It will be a battle of former big league arms on the mound as Taylor Jordan gets the call for Sioux City and Shairon Martis for the Saltdogs, first pitch set for 7:12 pm.
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