St.Paul, MN-The Sioux City Explorers head home happy, winning the third and final game of the St. Paul series 4-2 Wednesday afternoon.
The Explorers plated the first runs of the game in the fourth, Michael Lang led-off with a double and later scored on a Brock Kjeldgaard RBI double that scored Lang from second and gave the X’s the 1-0 lead. Kjeldgaard advanced to third on a single by Explorer shortstop Noah Perio Jr, and then crossed home off a fielders choice to extend it by two.
St. Paul went on to score a run of their own in the bottom half of the fourth to make it 2-1. Saints third baseman Joey Paciorek singled with two outs to score Vinny DiFazio from third base. X’s starter John Straka stayed calm and collected after the allowed run striking out Robert Youngdah on three pitches.
Sioux City took advantage of a lead-off double by Brock Kjeldgaard in the sixth, scoring a run in the inning. Kjeldggard would move to third on a 4-3 groundout by Noah Perio Jr, and then scored off a sacrifice fly to centerfield by second baseman Ryan Court.
In the bottom half off the seventh, St. Paul loaded the bases up with two singles and a walk. Saints right-fielder Mike Kvasnicka cut the lead to one off a passed ball scoring him from third base. After seven innings of play, Explorers led 3-2 over at CHS field.
Explorers picked up an insurance run in the ninth, Tommy Mendonca scored from third off a throwing error by the Saints shortstop to extend the lead 4-2. Right-handers Rob Wort and Jose Flores came in to pitch in ninth for Sioux City, holding St. Paul scoreless to close out the inning. Final score, Explorers 4, Saints, 2.
Starting pitcher John Straka pitched an absolute gem for Sioux City, the right-hander went seven innings, allowing two runs (one earned), on five hits and two walks while striking out six. Billy Bullock, Anthony Ferrara, Rob Wort and Jose Flores all pitched in relief for Sioux City, with Flores getting the save on the afternoon.
St. Paul’s starter Pedro Hernandez (4-2) would be charged with the loss Wednesday afternoon. The left-hander allowed three runs on seven hits with two strikeouts in seven innings pitched in the contest.
Explorers first baseman Brock Kjeldgaard was once again the hot batter in St. Paul, going 3 for 4, with two runs, an RBI and two doubles. Michael Lang had a two hit afternoon for the X’s with a double, an RBI, two stolen bases and a run scored.
The Sioux City Explorers will head home to face the Amarillo Thunderheads in a four game series at Lewis and Clark Park on Thursday. For 2015 ticket information at Lewis and Clark Park, call (712) 277-WINS or visit the X’s website at www.xsbaseball.com