Sioux City, IA-The Explorers allowed two ninth-inning runs and saw their three-game win streak end in a 3-1 loss to Grand Prairie Friday night at Lewis & Clark Park.
Sioux City (9-20) lost at home for the eighth straight time. With the win, Grand Prairie (11-17) ended a four-game losing streak. Both teams plated a lone tally in the fourth to start the scoring. Abel Nieves reached base with a one-out single to center for the AirHogs. Jimmy Mojica followed that with a double to left. With runners at second and third, Brandon Pinckney hit a sacrifice fly to left that scored Nieves on a tag from third. The Explorers answered back in the bottom of the inning to tie the game. A one-out walk put Nate Samson on at first. Tom Mendonca singled to center. Both men moved up to second and third on a wild pitch. A second wild pitch scored Samson from third. Peter Barrows and Dillon Usiak each walked to load the bases, but a fly-out and a strikeout ended the rest of the X’s threat.
After four straight scoreless innings, Grand Prairie gained the advantage in the ninth. Mitch Abeita placed a bloop single to left. With one out, Sioux City made a pitching change. Michael Hur then pinch hit for Eric Baker and reached on a fielder’s choice. With two outs, Jason Botts doubled to shallow left and scored Hur for a 2-1 lead. Andres Rodriguez singled to right on a soft liner that scored Botts for the 3-1 final.
AirHogs reliever Brett Wallach posted the victory. Wallach (1-0) worked one-and-a-third and allowed just one base hit. Jimmer Kennedy suffered the loss for the Explorers. Kennedy (1-3) pitched two-and-a-third innings in relief and allowed just one hit with three strikeouts and no walks. Dakota Watts notched his seventh save of the season. Watts pitched the ninth and surrendered one base hit with one strikeout and one walk.
Tom Mendonca and Dillon Usiak both collected two hits for the X’s. For the AirHogs, Andres Rodriguez went 3-for-5 with one RBI. Jason Botts was 2-for-4 with one RBI and one run scored.
Sioux City faces Grand Prairie for game two of the series tomorrow night at 7:05. For ticket information and promotion specials at Lewis & Clark Park, call 712-277-WINS or visit the Explorers website at www.xsbaseball.com.