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Sioux City, IA - The X’s used a late rally in the bottom of the eighth to defeat the Cleburne Railroaders by a score of 6-3 to take the first three games of the four game series. 


The Railroaders actually got things started early again as Angel Rosa lead off the second straight game with a home run as the Cleburne lead off man now has 10 home runs on the season. Chase Simpson would also go deep for Cleburne with his eighth home run of the year making it 2-0 Cleburne. 


Those would be the only two runs that Explorers start Justin Vernia would allow as he went 5 innings for Sioux City tonight, allowing just 2 runs, 8 hits, 4 strike outs and 2 walks. Vernia would take a no decision in the ball game as it was the first time for him in is starts that he did not pick up the win in a start he has made. The first no decision for Vernia since June 11 at Kansas City. 


The X’s would score three unanswered runs beginning in the third as Luis Durango would reach on an infield single and advance to second on a throwing error by the Railroaders second baseman. He would advance to third on a ground out and then score on a sacrifice fly by Nate Samson. 


The X’s also added two more runs in the fifth to take the lead. Daniel Jackson walked, and then Luis Durango bunted, and again another throwing error by the second baseman allowed Durango and Jackson to move up to second and third respectively. Michael Lang drove home Jackson with a base hit and Durango scored on a Nate Samson sacrifice fly as Samson collected 2 RBI’s in the ball game. 


Lang’s RBI single was his second hit of the game as he pulls closer and closer to achieving the Explorers franchise mark for hits in a career as Lang now needs two hits to tie Nolan Lane’s current franchise record of 529 hits and three to break that record and set a new one of 530. 


Cleburne had their chances in this one to add more runs as in the fourth inning, Cameron Monger doubled with Levi Scott at first and as Scott attempted to score from first base he was thrown out at the plate on a nice relay from Jackson to Samson to Dylan Kelly at home plate. Cleburne would then strand Monger at third base to end the inning. The Railroaders also loaded the bases against Justin Vernia in the fifth with only one out but Vernia was able to wiggle out of the jam keeping the Railroaders to just two runs in his five innings of work. 


Cleburne would tie the game though in the top of the sixth as Cameron Monger lead off the inning with his ninth home run of the season. The Railroaders have scored five runs in the last two games against Sioux City and all of them have been on five solo home runs. 


With the game tied 3-3 the Explorers bullpen would hold that score till the bottom of the eighth. The X’s would load the bases with just one out in the inning for Dexture McCall who was 1 for his last 27 coming into the at bat and was able to hit a rocket to left field to give the X’s the lead in the eighth 5-3. The Explorers would tack on an extra run on a Dylan Kelly sacrifice fly making it 6-3.


After Patrick Schuster (2-0) picked up the win by pitching a scoreless 1.2 innings including striking out the side in the eighth, Eric Karch was called on for the ninth. Karch (13) was able to pick up the save as he pitched a perfect ninth with a pair of strikeouts. Karch has now been perfect in his last five appearances, all of them saves as he has racked up 11 strike outs. 


Sioux City will now go for the four game sweep of the Railroaders on Thursday as left hander Ian McKinney will take the mound for Sioux City making his second start of the year for the Explorers against Dylan Mouzakes for Cleburne. First pitch is set for 7:05 from Mercy Field at Lewis and Clark Park.