St. Paul, MN-The Explorers failed to hold down a two-run, ninth-inning lead and lost to the Saints 7-6 in 13 innings Sunday afternoon at Midway Stadium.
Sioux City (6-19) had a 4-0 advantage through three-and-a-half innings before losing their eighth straight. The Explorers began the scoring with a single tally in the third. With two outs in the inning, Oscar Mesa tripled and scored on a Michael Lang single. In the fourth, Tom Mendonca led off with a double. Andres Perez then singled and reached second on an error. Mendonca, meanwhile, scored on the error to give the Explorers a 2-0 lead. A ground out moved Perez to third. Following a walk of Mark Sobolewski, Todd Jennings sacrifice bunted to score Perez. Mesa posted his second hit of the game with a single to drive in Sobolewski for a 4-0 cushion. St. Paul scored a lone run in the bottom of the fourth and it was 4-1.
The Saints (16-8) roared back in the fifth to tie it. Brandon Wikoff led off with a walk. After a strikeout, Devin Thaut walked to put runners at first and second. Sioux City made a pitching change. The very next batter, Joe Bonfe, walked as well to load the bases with one out. An error on the infield off the bat of Evan Bigley cut the X’s lead to 4-2. Angelo Songco then reached on a fielder’s choice as a force out was made at second to score one run. The throw to first attempting a double-play, however, went past the first baseman and scored a second run to tie it at 4-4.
The Explorers seized momentum back with a two-run, sixth inning. Leading off, Mark Sobolewski walked. Todd Jennings followed that with a walk. Oscar Mesa reached on a fielder’s choice. After a fly-out, Rene Tosoni singled to bring home Jennings. Nate Samson then smacked a single that scored Mesa for a 6-4 lead.
St. Paul forged a tie in a frenzied bottom of the ninth with X’s closer Chris Bodishbaugh on the mound. Carlos Escobar was hit by a pitch. Devin Thaut walked. An error on the infield loaded the bases as Joe Bonfe reached first with no outs. An infield single to short by Evan Bigley scored Escobar and made it 6-5. The attempted throw to first on the same play was wild and allowed Thaut to score the tying run. With nobody out, Angelo Songco walked to load the bases again. A fly-out to shallow left followed by a 4-6-3 double play sent the game to extra innings.
The Saints finished off a three-game sweep of the Explorers with the winning run in the bottom of the 13th. Joey Becker led off the inning with a single. Brandon Wikoff walked. A Carlos Escobar single loaded the bases. Devin Thaut ended it with a sacrifice fly to left that scored Becker. The 4 hour and 34 minute affair was the longest of the season for Sioux City. St. Paul reliever Dylan Thomas posted the win. Thomas (1-0) worked three scoreless innings and gave up just two hits with two strikeouts and two walks. Chris Bodishbaugh took the loss. Bodishbaugh (1-1) pitched four-and-a-third and allowed three runs (two earned) on three hits with five strikeouts and three walks.
At the plate, Nate Samson (pictured) had a four-hit day. Oscar Mesa and Andres Perez each had two hits. For St. Paul, Evan Bigley went 2-for-6 with a run scored and two RBIs. Willie Cabrera and Joey Becker both collected two hits as well.
Sioux City starts a three-game series at Gary SouthShore Monday night. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 at U. S. Steel Yard. The Explorers return home Friday, June 13th against Grand Prairie. For ticket information and promotion specials at Lewis & Clark Park, call 712-277-WINS or visit the Explorers website at www.xsbaseball.com.