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Wren Drives Home Five, Karch Twirls Eight


Sioux City, IA- Eric Karch sure picked a great time to piece together his best start of the season for the Sioux City Explorers. His eight shut out innings paved the way to the Explorers 11-0 victory over the Kansas City T-Bones in game two of the South Division Championship Series to even up the series at a game a piece. 

Eric Karch (1-0) was in complete command from start to finish in game two. He allowed just four singles and one walk while striking out five. He tossed 109 pitches in those eight innings of work with 76 registering for strikes. Only one single T-Bone reached second base against the native of Fresno, California and no one touched third. At one point during the game he retired 10 straight batters. Only two of the four singles Kansas City collected reached the outfield against Karch. 

But at the same time the Explorers offense delivered a big time performance to allow Karch to pitch confidently and with a lead all night. It began in the first when Kyle Wren walked and advanced to third on a Nate Samson single. Jeremy Hazelbaker was too fast for the T-Bones to turn a double play on and allowed Wren to score making it 1-0. 

Hazelbaker got back to work in the third with a two out, solo home run to right putting the X’s ahead 2-0. Hazelbaker has five RBI’s in the series and is hitting .444 through the first two games. 

Clutch at bats and clutch hits in the fifth broke the game open for Sioux City. Samson lead off the inning with a base hit and Jose Sermo crushed a double to center to score him and put Sioux City up 3-0. Then with two outs it was the bottom third of the order that would come up with no hits but three big at bats. Dylan Kelly, Sebastian Zawada and Adam Sasser all drew walks with Sasser’s coming with the bases loaded to bring home a run. Kyle Wren then hit a blooper to left that Casey Gillaspie could not reach on a sliding attempt and the ball rolled by him allowing the bases to clear and opening the game for the X’s 7-0. 

The three straight walks were a big key to the game as the X’s were effective tonight while leaving the bat on their shoulders. Kansas City pitching walked 11 in the contest while the X’s collected 10 hits. 

Leading the way with walks was the T-Bones starter Jose Mesa Jr. (0-1) as he lasted four innings allowing three runs on three hits with three strikeouts but walked six in the game. 

In the seventh it was Wren coming through again with two on and two out he hit a triple out to right center field to score a pair making it 9-0 as Wren collected five RBI’s in the game. 

In the eighth the X’s finished off the scoring for the night as Samson was hit by a pitch and Hazelbaker doubled to left. A pair of ground outs by Sermo and Dexture McCall scored them to finish the game 11-0 for the X’s. 

The venue now changes for the series as the Explorers will hit the road for the final three possible games in this series in Kansas City. Game three will be Saturday at 7:05 pm and can be heard from Sioux City on 94.9 FM/1360 AM KSCJ. Kansas City will be throwing right hander Tommy Collier and the X’s have yet to announce their starter.