Wichita, KS-The Explorers allowed three unearned runs Friday night and fell 4-3 to the Wingnuts on a walk-off base hit in the bottom of the ninth at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.
Sioux City (25-35) is now 0-4 this season against Wichita. The Explorers have lost three straight overall, and the loss snapped a five-game road winning streak. The night started well for the X’s with a two-spot in the third inning. Oscar Mesa led off with a single to center. Tim Colwell followed with a single that moved Mesa to third. Colwell then stole second and Rene Tosoni walked to load the bases. After back-to-back strikeouts, Mesa and Colwell scored for a 2-0 lead on an Amos Ramon (pictured) base-hit.
Wichita (41-18) evened the affair in the seventh. With two outs, Taylor Oldham reached on an infield single. David Amberson smacked a ground-rule double that placed runners at second and third. An ensuing ground ball to third off the bat of Ryan Khoury turned disastrous for the Explorers. A throwing error to first allowed Oldham to score the first run. On the same play, a throwing error to home plate tied the game as Amberson scored.
The Explorers reclaimed the lead in the eighth. Andres Perez led off the inning with a single. A sacrifice bunt pushed Perez to second. Following a strikeout and a Wichita pitching change, Tom Mendonca sliced a single to center and Perez scored for a 3-2 advantage.
The Wingnuts took advantage of another Sioux City throwing error in the bottom of the ninth. Chris McMurray singled to start the game-winning rally. Trevor Whyte then attempted to advance the runner on a sac bunt, but a throwing error trying to nail the lead runner sailed into center field. With runners at second and third, a single to center by David Amberson abruptly ended the game as both McMurray and Whyte scored.
On the mound, Geoff Broussard made a spot start for the Explorers. Broussard pitched two hitless and scoreless innings with three strikeouts and two walks. Chris Bodishbaugh, the fifth pitcher used, blew the save and took the loss. Bodishbaugh (1-2) pitched one-third of an inning and gave up two runs (one earned) on two hits. Patrick Mincey posted the win in relief for Wichita. Mincey (2-3) worked a 1-2-3 top of the ninth inning.
The Explorers outhit the Wingnuts 11-5, but made four errors on the night. Amos Ramon led the X’s with three hits and two RBIs. Oscar Mesa and Tim Colwell each went 2-for-4 with a run scored. For the Wingnuts, David Amberson was 2-for-4 with a run scored and two RBIs.
Sioux City plays game two at Wichita Saturday night. First pitch at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. The Explorers return home for a four-game set against Gary on Monday, July 21st. For ticket information and promotion specials at Lewis & Clark Park, call 712-277-WINS or visit the Explorers website at www.xsbaseball.com.