EXPLORERS PICK UP 70th WIN OF SEASON
EXPLORERS PICK UP 70TH WIN OF SEASON
Sioux City, IA - The Sioux City Explorers finished off a sweep of the Texas Airhogs with a 14-3 victory on Friday night.
With the win the Sioux City Explorers picked up their 70th victory of the season. Becoming just the fourth team in American Association history to compile at least 70 triumphs in a season. Wichita was the first in 2014 with 73, then St. Paul and Sioux City in 2015 when they won 73 and 75 respectively. And now the 2018 Sioux City Explorers. The Explorers have won 70 games now twice in the five seasons with Steve Montgomery at the helm.
In the ball game Texas actually lead early. A trio of one out singles loaded the bases before Cao Jie walked to bring home a run and make it 1-0 Airhogs in the first.
They tacked on two more in the second with the rally beginning with two outs in the frame. Javion Randle reached on an infield single. He would score on a base hit by Stewart Ijames. Ijames ended up at second on the play would advance to third on a wild pitch and scored on a throwing error by Jose Sermo and Texas was up 3-0.
All the runs were scored against Ian McKinney. McKinney went 4 innings and allowed 3 runs, 2 earned on 6 hits. He walked just one and struck out 10 batters. McKinney recorded 12 outs in the ball game, 10 of them came by strikeout. McKinney compiled an in game K/9 of 22.5.
Sioux City would come back and tie the game in the second. Sermo lead off the inning with a single, Jay Baum would reach on a catchers interference and Blake Schmit with a base hit. Dylan Kelly then singled to deep left field to drive home two runs making it 3-2. And Luis Durango drove home Schmit with a two out single to tie the game.
Sioux City took the lead in the third as with a runner on base Jay Baum fouled a ball off of his foot which clearly hurt. Baum was able to shake it off and on the next pitch he crushed his eighth home run of the year and the two run missile put Sioux City in front 5-3. They would tack on another run as the next batter Schmit was hit by a pitch. On a hit and run Kelly would single to right center field and Schmit was able to score all the way from first and Sioux City was in front 6-3.
The Explorers would blow the game open in the fifth with a two out, four run rally. All started when Dylan Kelly walked with two gone. Kelly would be removed from the game in the sixth but end up going 2-2 with three RBI’s and a run scored. McCall then singled and Durango walked to load the bases. Michael Lang then singled to right center field to drive home two and Samson with a double to left to drive in two more made it 10-3 X’s and they were well on their way.
In the sixth a pair of homers helped the X’s pad their lead. Dean Green lead off the home half with a solo home run to center field his second of the year. And Daniel Jackson would pinch hit for Kelly and with a runner aboard hit his third homer of the season and Sioux City went up 13-3.
They tacked on an extra run in the seventh on a sacrifice fly from Dean Green who collected three RBI’s in the game.
Sioux City scored 14 unanswered runs to finish the game. Sioux City finished the series by outscoring Texas 32-3.
In the game Michael Lang started in right field and hit second, he went 1-6 with two RBI’s but it was Lang’s 470th game in an Explorers uniform. Breaking the franchise record for most games played in a career passing Nolan Lane.
The Explorers now go to Wichita for a three game series to finish the regular season before the start of the playoffs against either Kansas City or Wichita. Game one will be Saturday with first pitch set for 7:05 and Justin Vernia on the hill for the X’s and Jordan Cooper for the Wingnuts.