Sioux Falls, SD-The Explorers scored four runs through the first three innings Friday night before they let it slip away in a 7-6 loss to the Canaries at Sioux Falls Stadium.
The Canaries (23-44) used a one-out, walk-off home run up the left-field line in the bottom of the ninth to snap a four-game losing streak. With the win, Sioux Falls evened the season series with the Explorers at four wins apiece.
Sioux City (27-40) started the scoring with a two-run first. With two outs, Rene Tosoni walked and scored all the way from first on a double to right-center by Andres Perez. Perez scored for a 2-0 lead as Peter Barrows singled to left. The Explorers added another two-out run in the second. Tom Mendonca (pictured) doubled to the right field fence and later scored on an Oscar Mesa single that found its way into right field. In the third, the X’s made it 4-0 as Barrows posted his second RBI single that scored Tosoni. Tosoni had reached with a lead-off double into the right field corner.
Sioux Falls plated single runs in each of the fourth and fifth innings before erupting for four in the sixth to take the lead. After a ground out, Brandon Jones doubled into the right field corner. A.J. Kirby-Jones reached on an error. Chris Duffy singled to right and scored Jones to cut the deficit to 4-3. The very next batter, Carlos Mendez, launched a triple into the gap in right-center that scored two and gave the Canaries a 5-4 lead. Chris Valencia made it 6-4 with a sharp single to center.
Following a scoreless seventh, the Explorers pushed two across in the eighth to tie it. Andres Perez led off the inning with an infield single. Peter Barrows grounded into a 5-4 fielder’s choice. Amos Ramon cracked a single in the hole to left. Barrows and Ramon both advanced to second and third on a wild pitch. Tom Mendonca continued his hot hitting with a base knock to left on a soft-liner that brought in Barrows. Todd Jennings then put down a safety squeeze bunt and Ramon beat the pitcher’s throw to the plate for a 6-6 tie.
In the bottom of the ninth, Sam Lind sent 4,215 Sioux Falls fans home happy with a walk-off home run up the left field line that just barely cleared the wall. It was Lind’s fourth round-tripper of the season.
On the mound, Alan DeRatt picked up the win in relief. DeRatt (1-4) pitched the ninth and gave up a hit but struck out the side. Rob Wort suffered the loss for Sioux City. Wort (1-1) worked just two-thirds and allowed one earned run on two hits. At the plate, Andres Perez went 4-for-5 with a run and an RBI. Tom Mendonca had his second straight three-hit night and drove in a run. Peter Barrows had two hits with two RBIs. For the Canaries, four different batters all had two hits. Chris Duffy and Carlos Mendez each collected two RBIs. Sam Lind had the game-winning homer and drove in two. The Explorers outhit the Canaries 14-10, but made three errors on the night.
Sioux City faces rival Sioux Falls in game two of the three-game weekend set Saturday night. First pitch at the Birdcage is scheduled for 6:05. Following the all-star break, the Explorers return on Wednesday July 30th for an eight-game home stand against Fargo-Moorhead and Winnipeg. For ticket information and promotion specials at Lewis & Clark Park, call 712-277-WINS or visit the Explorers website at www.xsbaseball.com.