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X's Drop Opener in Sioux Falls



Sioux Falls, SD-A back-and-forth affair at the Birdcage saw Sioux City’s three-game win streak in season opening games end with a 5-4 loss to the Canaries.


Sioux Falls (1-0) opened the night’s scoring with a one-out, two-run home run to right field by Brandon Jones. One batter before, Carlos Mendez, reached base on an infield single. After a scoreless second inning, the X’s answered back with two runs of their own to tie it in the third. Peter Barrows led off with a double to the right field wall. Nate Samson then drove Barrows in with a single to center. After Todd Jennings smacked a single to center, Michael Lang drove Samson home on a single to right for a 2-2 tie.


The fourth inning proved to be pivotal in determining the outcome. Sioux City (0-1) took its first lead of the game on a one-out, solo home run to left off the bat of Luke Murton. With one out in the bottom of the fourth, Sioux Falls started the game-deciding rally. Chris Duffy walked and Shelby Ford singled to right. Steve Tinoco then slugged a two-out, three-run homer to right-center for a 5-3 Canaries lead.


Following four straight scoreless innings, the Explorers came to bat in the ninth. Tommy Mendonca led off with an infield single and Murton singled to right. Mendonca was moving with the pitch and reached third on the base hit. Barrows then flied out to left, which scored Mendonca on the sacrifice fly. On the play, the throw came into second and doubled up Murton attempting to tag from first. Nate Samson grounded out to end the game.


Sioux Falls starter Ben Moore picked up the win. Moore (1-0) worked six innings and struck out nine. He allowed seven hits on three runs (all earned) and did not walk a batter. In the first minor league start of his career, Greg Holt took the loss. Holt (0-1) went six innings and allowed five runs (all earned) on six hits and two home runs. He struck out four and walked two. After giving up a run on two hits, Alan DeRatt closed it out in the ninth for the save. At the plate for the Explorers, Murton and Samson both had two hits and an RBI in defeat.


Sioux City plays game two of the four-game series at Sioux Falls Stadium Friday night. First pitch is set for 7:05. The X’s home opener is Saturday night against the Canaries at Lewis & Clark Park. The series will then shift back to Sioux Falls for game four Sunday afternoon. For ticket information, call 712-277-WINS or visit the Explorers website at