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St. Paul, MN - In a battle of the two top teams in each of the American Association divisions the Sioux City Explorers took game one from the St. Paul Saints by a score of 11-3. 


St. Paul was originally set to start Eddie Medina in the ball game but Medina was scratched from the start just a couple of hours before game time. So in his place lefty Ryan Boelter, usually a bullpen arm was asked to make the emergency start in Medina’s place.


The Explorers set the tone early against Boelter as Luis Durango and Michael Lang started off the ball game with bunt singles. They both then scored on Nate Samson’s third home run of the year which gave Sioux City a 3-0 lead in the first. 


The X’s would tack on four more runs in the third. Michael Lang walked with one out and Jay Austin singled. Nate Samson then flied out to left making it runners on first and second with two outs. Jose Sermo then hit his team leading 11th double of the season scoring Lang and Austin to make it 5-0 X’s. Jay Baum then followed with his third home run of the year to give Sioux City the 7-0 lead after three innings. 


The X’s would add a run in the fourth when Dylan Kelly lead off with a single, followed by a Daniel Jackson walk and a Durango base hit. Loading the bases with no one out Ryan Boelter was lifted from the game. Ryan Schlosser came in and uncorked a wild pitch which scored Kelly from third making it 8-0 X’s but otherwise set down the next three batters in order without allowing a run to score. 


That was more than enough for X’s starting pitcher Keith Picht (2-2) who kept up the recent trend of strong starts by X’s pitchers. He picked up the win by going with 7 innings, allowing just 1 run on 5 hits, walking and striking out 3 tonight. The 7 innings was the longest Picht has made it into a start on the season. 


Sioux City gave him more run support in the fifth when Dexture McCall walked with two outs and Dylan Kelly drove him home with a double that hit off the top of the right field wall. Making it 9-0 Sioux City.


The only run St. Paul could manufacture on the night against Picht was with two outs in the fifth when Justin O’Connor worked a walk and was driven home by a Kes Carter base hit. 


The X’s scored twice in the ninth off of JJ Gould usually an infielder for the Saints. He walked Samson and Sermo with two outs in the inning, Baum then doubled to bring home Samson and McCall singled to bring home Sermo making it 11-1 Sioux City. 


The Saints would tack on two runs in the ninth to make it the 11-3 final score. 


The X’s and Saints will play game two of the series on Tuesday with Taylor Jordan on the mound for the Explorers and the Saints announcing their starter before the game. First pitch is set for 7:05 pm from CHS Field.