Xs KNOCK OFF T-BONES IN EXTRAS TO ADVANCE TO FINALS
X’s KNOCK OFF T-BONES IN EXTRAS TO ADVANCE TO FINALS
Sermo Drives in Winning Runs, Pobereyko Twirls in Extras
Kansas City, KS - The Sioux City Explorers are moving on to the American Association Finals with a 5-2 win in thirteen innings in game four over the Kansas City T-Bones. With the win Sioux City continues its quest for the franchises first championship as they beat the defending champs in four games in the South Division Championship Series.
The Explorers would take an early lead on Kansas City again as the Explorers were the ones to score first in all four games of the series. It was a two out rally in the first inning as Nate Samson and Jeremy Hazelbaker drew walks. Jose Sermo then doubled down the right field line to drive home Samson and give Sioux City a 1-0 lead.
Kansas City starter Jon Perrin only last two innings, allowing that one run on just one hit but walked four. The T-Bones then turned to Akeem Bostick for the next three frames as they tried to piece the game together with the bullpen.
Bostick would make only one mistake in his three innings of work when he surrendered a solo homer to Sebastian Zawada to lead off the fifth inning, it was Zawada’s second homer of the series.
Up 2-0 halfway through the ball game the X’s were feeling good with Taylor Jordan on the mound. Through the first four innings, Jordan allowed only three base runners on a pair of singles and a walk. But Kansas City would get a run off of him in the fifth as Ramsey Romano picked up a two out single and would steal second base. The first and only stolen base of the series for the T-Bones. It came at a perfect time however as Dylan Tice would then single him home and cut the X’s lead in half 2-1.
Jordan would get the no decision as he went six and a third allowing five hits, and just the one run with a walk and two strikeouts.
From there Kansas City’s bullpen would shut down the X’s offense almost completely. After a one out single in the sixth, the T-Bones bullpen between Hunter Smith, Henry Owens, Carlos Diaz and Andrew Dipiazza, would retire the next 16 straight Explorers with 12 of those coming by strikeout. Kansas City would strike out 17 batters in the game tying a season high for the Explorers with both instances happening against Kansas City.
Jose Velez was called upon for a second straight night and got the X’s out of a runners at first and second one out jam in the seventh. But in the eighth it was Danny Mars doubling for the second straight night off of Velez. A ground out would move him to third where Daniel Nava would then drive him home with a single to left tying the game 2-2.
However the Nava single would be the final hit of the night as the X’s bullpen would then shut down the Kansas City offense. Tyler Fallwell would toss an inning and two thirds for the X’s as he appeared in three of the four games in the SDCS.
But the man of the night out of the X’s pen was Matt Pobereyko (1-0). The Explorers closer went out and tossed four no hit shut out innings for the X’s. He threw from the tenth inning on to earn the win, the only base runner he allowed was a two out walk in the twelfth and struck out seven.
It was the second time this season Matt Pobereyko who tied the X’s single season franchise record with 24 saves during the regular season tossed four innings of relief for the X’s in an extra innings victory. He also threw four innings of shutout relief on August 22nd in a 4-3 X’s win in 12 innings over the Cleburne Railroaders.
Finally in the top of the thirteenth the Explorers offense got started up again. Samson would single with one out to give Sioux City a base runner against Dipiazza, the rookie right hander was throwing in his third inning of work despite never going longer than two innings in the regular season. Hazelbaker then placed a perfect bunt up the third base line to out two aboard for Jose Sermo. Sermo would then come up clutch again as he hit a sinking line drive towards the gap in right center. Stewart Ijames dove to attempt and make a game saving catch but it was just out of his reach and would roll past him all the way to the warning track. Samson and Hazelbaker scored on the triple and Sermo then scored on Dexture McCall’s sacrifice fly to right field to put the X’s up 5-2.
Sermo lead the Explorers with eight RBI’s in the series, driving in six of those in games three and four on the road.
Pobereyko in the home half of the inning produced three easy pop ups, all of them caught by Sermo.
The Sioux City Explorers who had fallen in an epic five game series to the Kansas City T-Bones just the year before in the SDCS ended the defending champs hopes at repeating. And with the win keep their title hopes going as the Explorers move on to the American Association Finals and will face the winner of game five in the North Division Championship series between the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks and the St. Paul Saints.
Games one and two of the American Association Finals will be in Sioux City on Wednesday and Thursday at 7:12 pm. Game three will be in either Fargo, ND or St. Paul, MN as will games four and five if necessary.