SIOUX CITY EXPLORERS PRESS RELEASE
September 14, 2023
Dan Vaughan Jr.
KANSAS CITY MOVES ON TO THE FINALS
EXPLORERS PEN FALTERS
KANSAS CITY, Kansas – The Sioux City Explorers (3-2) had everything going their way into the bottom of the seventh inning Thursday night at Legends Field. Leading 6-3 and needing just nine more outs, the entire night and postseason hopes went south in a disastrous bottom of the seventh. The Kansas City Monarchs (4-1) erased the lead scoring four runs on one hit to go ahead and never look back in a 9-6 series clinching win. The Monarchs will head to the American Association Championship Series and play for the Miles Wolff Cup against the Chicago Dogs, while the Explorers will ponder how they let it all slip away.
Sioux City got off to a good start getting an RBI single from Scott Ota in the first off Kansas City starter Hogan Miller to take a 1-0 lead. The X’s got two more in the third on a single and an error in center for Kansas City and a sac fly to make it 3-0. Sioux City rang the run register again in the fourth with an RBI single from Daniel Lingua and it was 4-0.
A solo home run for Wilfredo Gimenez in the top of the fifth made it 5-0 Sioux City. Kansas City would begin their comeback in the bottom of the fifth. Trenton Toplikar would get the start and go 2.2 innings. Max Kuhns would come in to stop a base loaded threat in the third and work a 1-2-3 fourth. In the fifth the right-hander ran into trouble. He would walk the bases loaded and force the X’s to turn to lefty Carlos Diaz. Kansas City would score a pair of runs on a wild pitch, a balk and double for Jan Hernandez.
Diaz would get out of the inning leading 6-3 and work a scoreless sixth inning. Sioux City got a long ball from John Nogowski to make a 6-3 lead going into the bottom of the seven. The good vibes changed quickly in the bottom of the seventh. Diaz got a strike out of L.J. Hatch then hit Odubel Herrera to put two runners on base. Brandon Brosher came in and walked Justin Wylie to put runners at first and second. Sean Rackoski would come into the game and would walk Chris Herrmann to load the bases. Rackoski then issued back-to-back walks to Jan Hernandez and Micker Adolfo to bring in two runs and make it 6-5. Parker Caracci would then enter the game and strike out Brian O’Grady for the second out of the inning. Taylor Snyder grounded to third, but the X’s Kyle Kasser bobbled the ball to allow the tying run to score. With the bases loaded and Jacob Robson at the plate Caracci then uncorked a wild pitch to bring home the go ahead run and take a 7-6 lead. The Monarchs would take the lead with only one swing of the bat in the inning.
Sioux City would get two on in the eighth, but the offense stalled in their comeback attempt. Sioux City has now lost their last two elimination games to Kansas City. The X’s won the season series 9-3 against Kansas City but the Monarchs were able to take the series two games to one scoring the last six runs. The Explorers lost despite out hitting the Monarchs in the game 10-5. The real killer was the 11 walks issued by Sioux City. he bullpen that came into the game not allowing an earned run in four postseason games but nine walks and eight earned runs ended that streak. Kansas City will play for the league crown for the second time in three seasons.
Stay tuned to the Explorers website and social media channels throughout the offseason for updates on the Sioux City Explorers.