Amarillo, TX- The Sioux City Explorers have clinched their second consecutive Central Division Championship, with the 10-4 victory over the Texas AirHogs on Sunday afternoon.
The American Association semi-finals will begin on September 7th, with location and opponents pending the conclusion of tonight’s (September 4th) American Association scheduled games.
Sioux City jumped to an early lead, recording three runs in the first inning. X’s shortstop (AA POY) Nate Samson knocked in the first run with an RBI double. LeVon Washington added another with a base-hit single, scoring the runner at third base. Samson later scored on a sacrifice fly by Tim Colwell.
Texas cut the lead down to one run in the second inning. Michael Miller scored the runners at second and third with an RBI double, cutting the lead down to 3-2 after two innings of play.
In the third, Sioux City tacked-on another run. X’s left fielder Tim Colwell smashed a two-out solo-shot, extending the lead to 4-2.
AirHogs answered with a run in the fourth. Doubles by Cory Morales and Kenny Peoples-Walls (RBI) scored the third run for Texas.
Explorers added two more runs in the top of the sixth. With a runner at first and one out, X’s third baseman Tommy Mendonca cranked a two-run homer to further their lead over Texas.
In the bottom of the sixth, Texas plated their final run of the game. Kenny Peoples-Walls reached first on a fielder’s choice, advanced to second with a wild pitch, and scored off an RBI single by Brian Bistagne, making it 6-4 after six innings.
The Sioux City Explorers went on to chalk-up four more runs in the contest, scoring runs in each of the final three innings. In the seventh, X’s scored off an RBI groundout. Ino Patron homered in the eighth inning, and Tommy Mendnoca knocked in two with a double in the ninth.
Final Score: Explorers 10, AirHogs 4 at QuikTrip Park
Explorers starter Jake Kuebler (3-2) finished with a no decision, allowing three runs in four innings pitched. X’s right-hander PJ Francescon (5-7) received the victory, going three innings with only one run allowed.
Texas starting pitcher Diego Ibarra (0-4) was charged with the loss, giving up seven big runs in 6.2 innings pitched.
Reserve your tickets for the American Association semi-finals by stopping down to the stadium box office located at Mercy Field at Lewis & Clark Park (3400 Line Drive, Sioux City, IA 51106) or by ordering online at www.xsbaseball.com or by phone at 712-277-WINS (9467).