Gary, IN-The Explorers scored four eighth-inning runs and snapped a season-high eight game losing streak in a 7-3 victory over Gary SouthShore Monday night at U. S. Steel Yard.
Sioux City (7-19) posted its first win since May 31st, and in the process erased Gary’s seven-game win streak. It all started for the X’s with a two-run second inning. Nate Samson led off with an infield single to third. Tom Mendonca then reached on an infield single as well. A sacrifice bunt by Andres Perez put runners at second and third with one out. Samson scored the game’s first run on a single from Peter Barrows. Dillon Usiak made it 2-0 as he reached on a sacrifice and an error by the first baseman.
Gary SouthShore (15-9) took its first and only lead of the game with a big bottom of the third. Drew Martinez led off the inning with a solo home run that cut the lead to 2-1. After a fly out, Ryan Babineau walked. Craig Maddox then doubled to score Babineau with the tying run. A ground out advanced Maddox to third. Jeremy Hamilton followed with a single to bring home Maddox and put the RailCats ahead 3-2.
In the top of the 4th, the Explorers evened the score. With one out, back-to-back doubles by Peter Barrows and Dillon Usiak made it 3-3. Three straight scoreless innings took it to the decisive eighth frame. Leading off, Tom Mendonca reached on an error by the shortstop. Mendonca moved to second on a single to left by Andres Perez. Following a pitching change that lifted the Gary starter, Barrows sac bunted Mendonca and Perez up to second and third. After another pitching change, Usiak walked to load the bases. Todd Jennings then broke the tie with a double that drove in two for a 5-3 lead. Oscar Mesa added some insurance runs with a single that scored Usiak and Jennings for a 7-3 cushion.
For the Explorers, Greg Holt (pictured) had his longest outing of the season and posted his first win. Holt (1-4) worked seven innings and gave up three earned runs on six hits with seven strikeouts and three walks. Stephen Hiscock took the loss for the RailCats. Hiscock (2-2) last seven and allowed five runs (four earned) on nine hits with three strikeouts and one walk. Kenny Long pitched the final two innings in relief for Sioux City. Long struck out one and walked one.
At the plate, Oscar Mesa went 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Michael Lang, Nate Samson, and Peter Barrows all had two hit nights as well. Dillon Usiak and Todd Jennings both collected two RBIs to join Mesa. Drew Martinez was 2-for-4 with a home run for the RailCats. The X’s outhit the ‘Cats 12 to 6, and Gary racked up three errors in the game.
Sioux City plays game two of its three-game series at Gary SouthShore Tuesday 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.